Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo took home both the Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year Awards for the 2019-20 season in what some considered a bit of an upset.
The Los Angeles Lakers were well-represented as runner-ups with LeBron James and Anthony Davis respectively finishing in second place for MVP and DPOY. James and Davis said at the time that it didn’t bother them, but James’ later comments hinted at there being frustration.
This season, the Lakers found themselves in an early matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks as part of an East Coast road trip. Despite the Bucks being one of the best teams in the league statistically, they simply were unable to keep pace with the Lakers, leading to a 113-106 L.A. victory.
Davis, when asked about his motivation for winning in such an important game, disregarded the idea that Antetokounmpo winning both awards last season had anything to do with it. “Our motivation was not losing two in a row, and we were able to get that accomplished,” he said.
“He’s a great player on both sides of the ball and he deserved them. For us, we just try to go out there and win basketball games.”
Davis saying Antetokounmpo was deserving of the personal hardware was a different tone than previously shared. He and James had both questioned the voting process for MVP, and each touted one another as deserving winners.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was also very vocal throughout the playoffs in saying that he believed James and Davis both should have won.
Davis highly self-critical after win against Bucks
Davis has willingly voiced frustration when he thinks something isn’t working on the court, and that centered around himself after the Lakers defeated the Bucks. “I think I suck right now,” Davis said with striking candor.
“I’m not making shots, I’m not making free throws. But I think tonight my aggressiveness, just being in the post and getting to the paint allowed guys to get open. I trust my teammates.”
Davis followed that up with a monster performance against the Chicago Bulls, scoring a season-high 37 points to help the Lakers improve to 9-0 on the road this season.
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