LeBron James finishes second in MVP voting to Giannis Antetokounmpo

LEBron James LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 6: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers plays defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks on March 6, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Milwaukee Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has won the 2019-20 MVP award, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The award is his second consecutive award, with Giannis also being the first NBA player to win MVP and DPOY in the same year since Hakeem Olajuwon. LeBron James was figured to be the only competitor to steal the award from Giannis, but he came up short. Full voting for the award can also be seen below (one voter picked James Harden for 2nd place over LeBron James).

Antetokounmpo was the favorite to win the award nearly all year until James and the Lakers made a run for it just before the season shut down. The Lakers’ back-to-back wins over the Bucks and the LA Clippers seemed to reinvigorate the discussion but ultimately, LeBron fell short. Who knows what would have happened if the pandemic didn’t disrupt the season in mid-March, as LeBron and the Lakers still had around a month to build a resumé fit for a MVP selection. We’ll never know, as the regular season only included eight more games once the season returned in Orlando, with those eight games not having an influence on the award season.

The 35-year-old James entered the season playing a new position, at least nominally, and made it a firm decision to focus on the defensive end after a poor season on that side of the floor last year. All he did was average 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and a league-leading and career-high 10.2 assists per game. He was additionally a key part of the effort to lead the Lakers to both a top-five offense and top-five defense at the time of voting and the best record in the Western Conference (just three games behind the Bucks).

This marks the 11th time in a 17-year career that LeBron has finished in the top three of MVP voting. The former Cavaliers and Heat star has won the award four times and finished second four more times.

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