Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins MVP Over Lakers’ LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA announced Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo — who has already won Defensive Player of the Year — has been named the 2020 Kia Most Valuable Player. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James landed in second place with Houston Rockets guard James Harden securing a distant third.

Antetokounmpo received 85 out of 100 potential first place votes, garnering a total of 962 points in the process. James, who led the Lakers to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, collected a total of 753 points with 16 first place votes.

Voting for the end of season awards is done by 100 sports writers and broadcasters, with each giving a first, second and third place vote to a designated player. First place votes are worth five points, while second and third place votes are worth three and one, respectively.

The eight seeding games were not included in MVP voting, only the regular season games that took place from October to March.

By repeating, Antetokounmpo became the fifth player in NBA history to receive both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year at some point during their careers. The other four are Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwan, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett, all of whom are Hall of Famers.

Only Antetokounmpo, Jordan and Olajuwan won the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Antetokounmpo and Jordan are the only players in NBA history to win multiple MVPs and a Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The Bucks held the league’s best record (53-12) through March 11 while holding a strong advantage for the best net rating as well. Milwaukee outscored opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions. The next closest team was the Lakers at 7.1.

Davis, James and head coach Frank Vogel all finished within the top five of their respective award categories. While Davis and James both placed second, Vogel finished fifth in Coach of the Year voting.

Vogel refers to Davis as versatile and dominant defensively

Even louder than the calls for James to win MVP over the Bucks star were those arguing for Davis as Defensive Player of the Year. Lakers head coach Vogel was particularly passionate in defending Davis.

“Anthony Davis is the most versatile and dominant defender in the game. It’s that simple,” Vogel recently answered when asked why Davis should win the honor.

“He’s the best rim protector, he can switch out and guard all positions on the perimeter, he’s elite with his hands and he has a skillset that’s unlike anybody else in the NBA.”

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