LeBron James “pissed off” about MVP voting results

LeBron James
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 1: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks on March 1 2019 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers won their first Game 1 since 2012, beating the Denver Nuggets 126-114. Even with a 12-point win, the final score doesn’t necessarily show how the game flowed as the Lakers were up by around 20-25 for much of the 3rd and 4th quarter before bench players were in for the final few minutes. Before the game, MVP voting was announced which revealed what everyone was expecting, that the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo had won the award with LeBron James finishing second. Inevitably, LeBron was asked about this after Game 1 and…well…he’s pissed off.

So, yeah. Today is going to be a day where the LeBron-haters will say he’s being a baby about the award while the LeBron-fans will state that this is just his competitive nature, a nature that LeBron-haters say he doesn’t have. Either way, it’s not surprising to hear an overly-competitive human being say he thinks he deserves an award for which he came in second-place. His superstar teammate saying the same thing is not surprising either (quote transcribed by Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll):

“He’s the best player in the league,” Anthony Davis said. “If you look at this year what he’s been able to accomplish, regular season and playoffs, for me it was clear cut that he was the MVP. I’m not sure how they can do the voting. You can get the players more involved for sure. I mean, we’re actually the ones who are out there playing against these guys.”

This sort of situation happens a lot in the NBA and, coincidentally, it’s usually happening with LeBron James in the past few years. The MVP award is, by technicality, an award based on the regular season. This results in some MVPs awards being a little awkward as they are awarded in the midst of the NBA Playoffs every year. This sometimes results in players like Giannis Antetokounmpo accepting the award while on vacation in Athens, Greece instead of at home waiting for the next playoff game that his team has to play. Barring crazy circumstances, it would make sense that the MVP would at least put his team in a position to be one of the final four teams left, if not one of the final two in the NBA Finals.

It really seems, though, that LeBron and Davis are truly upset about this as the two even dove into the specific voting totals around LeBron and Giannis. Above, LeBron is referencing the 16 first-place votes he received for MVP compared to Giannis’ 84. The proportion of votes is definitely wild to examine, but Giannis did have one of the best statistical seasons in the NBA for the team with the best record in the NBA. Davis’ point about some players voting is interesting, as it does seem sort of silly that an NBA award is basically decided by men and women who, for the most part, have never played the game at its highest level.

Don’t worry. LeBron James knows he’s probably opened up a can of monday-morning-talking-points for First Take and the rest of the TV shows.

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