While Friday, September 18, saw LeBron James help the Lakers take another step closer to winning the fourth NBA Championship after defeating Denver Nuggets, it was the MVP award voting, announced on the same day, that ‘pissed’ him. James came in the second position for the MVP award making it the fourth time in his career he has finished as the runners-up. You can use this guide to catch up with the latest NBA Championship odds & markets and bet on your favourite team to win the competition.
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From the 101 votes taken from select media, Giannis Antetokounmpo emerged the winner having garnered 85 votes. This was the second consecutive NBA MVP award for the Milwaukee Bucks superstar. James came a distant second with 16 votes and while he commended Giannis, he was not happy with how the voting was done.
Speaking to the reporters after the game, James said that it ‘pissed’ him off. ‘That’s my true answer. It pissed me off because out of 101 votes I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything.’ He went on to say that he had finished in second position a lot of times from championship and four times for the MVP award. He continued to state that while he never came to the league saying that he would be the MVP or the champion, he believed that some things would ‘take care of themselves’ provided he works to be better each day.
James went on to show other instances he had gripes with the award voting. He pointed to the votes Devonte’ Graham got for the Most Improved award. ‘The voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes… did you see the votes Devonte’ Graham got? He averaged four points last year compared to 17.5. If that’s not improving, what is?’ he posed.
James believes that since he got into the league, the voting criteria has changed a lot. He says that it’s not about knowing the best team but knowing the best player. He, however, gave credit to Giannis for having a ‘hell of a season.’
Milwaukee Bucks won more games than the Lakers and for Giannis, he scored more points with better efficiency and had better rebounds as compared to LeBron. On paper, he appeared to be the deserving winner. On the defensive department, LeBron clearly had an individual better season in the department but Giannis was also better in that area. While the Basketball world believes LeBron is the better player, the Milwaukee Bucks man provided more value to his team with less-quality players.
Speaking after the interview, James told the reporters that it was his initial reaction and that all is good now. ‘I’m absolutely fine. So, I was pissed off at the reaction earlier when I saw it. I’m absolutely great now… let’s not get it twisted. I’m great.’ He said.
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