After a decisive Game 1 win over the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Lakers forward LeBron James was asked about finishing as the runner-up to Giannis Antetokounmpo for the 2019/20 NBA MVP award.
The four-time MVP did not mince words about the results, taking particular exception with the final tally.
“Pissed me off. That’s my true answer,” James said, per ESPN. “It pissed me off, because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything. You know, not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP. But that pissed me off. And I finished second a lot in my career, either from a championship, and now four times as an MVP.”
When it comes down to sheer impact, James has been in the MVP discussion nearly every season of his NBA career. Statistically, James had another dominant year in 2019/20 as he led the league in assists (10.2 APG) while averaging 25.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG for the Lakers.
Additionally, the Lakers made the playoffs for the first time since 2013 and were the Western Conference’s first seed for the first time since 2010. Ultimately, it was Antetokounmpo who took home the honors for the second year in a row. The Greek Freak also joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to ever win Defensive Player of the Year and MVP honors in the same campaign.
“I’m not going to sit up here and talk about what the criteria should be or what it is. It’s changed over the years since I’ve gotten into the league,” James added. “Sometimes it’s the best player on the best team. Sometimes it’s the guy with the best season statistically. Sometimes … I mean, you don’t know. You don’t know. But you know, Giannis had a hell of a season; I can definitely say that.”