Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo took home a second consecutive MVP Award, besting fellow finalists Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
That Antetokounmpo repeated wasn’t much of a surprise. However, that James only received 16 first-place votes caught many off guard — including the 17-year veteran himself. James very candidly voiced his frustration with that, but also said Antetokounmpo was deserving of MVP.
James nonetheless was left in search of answers on how voters decide a winner for MVP. “I’m not going to sit up here and talk about what the criteria should be or what it is,” James began. “It’s changed over the years since I’ve gotten into the league, I know that. It’s changed a lot.
“You know, sometimes it’s the best player on the best team. Sometimes it’s the guy with the best season statistically. It’s changed over the course of my career. I mean, you don’t know. You don’t know. But you know, Giannis had a helluva season, I can definitely say that.”
James also had some concerns about the motivations of voters, who use narratives instead of statistics and results. “It’s just the voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes,” he continued.
“I mean, if you take , I had a chance to be Defensive Player of the Year and also MVP in the same season. And that year [Marc] Gasol was Defensive Player of the Year, but he made Second Team All-Defense. So that doesn’t make sense. It’s like being MVP of the league but you make Second Team All-NBA. That’s when I really started to look at things kind of like differently.
“I was like, how does that even make any sense? It’s like being Rookie of the Year but you make Second Team All-Rookie. And then I looked at the Most Improved this year, and rightfully so Brandon Ingram was amazing and I thought he should have won it.
“But did you see the votes that Devonte’ Graham got? He averaged four points last year compared to 17.5. If that’s not improving, what is? I don’t know how much we are really watching the game of basketball, or are we just in the narration mode, the narrative?”
The same can be said for Anthony Davis, who lost out on Defensive Player of the Year to Antetokounmpo as well.
Frank Vogel believes LeBron should be the MVP
While anyone in the Lakers organization is likely to be biased, Lakers head coach Vogel was certainly confident in his MVP pick.
“What LeBron means to our team, even before the season begins when the roster is being put together, with the number of guys on the Lakers because LeBron James is here and they want to play with him,” Vogel said.
“I think it starts there. And then obviously what he’s able to do on the basketball court, orchestrating the offense, leading the league in assists and really setting the tone on the defensive end.”
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