LeBron James isn’t happy about finishing second in the NBA MVP voting for the fourth time in his illustrious career.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was named MVP for the second consecutive season, and James appeared angry when talking about the award with reporters after his Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
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“Pissed me 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,” James told reporters, according to ESPN.
“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.”
James is a four-time MVP winner. He led the Lakers to the top seed in the Western Conference this season after his 2018-19 season was upended because of injuries. He managed to finish the prolonged regular season averaging 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.2 assists. It was the first time he averaged 10 assists in his career, and he was a league-leader in the category.
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“I never came into this league to be MVP or to be a champion,” James said. “I’ve always just wanted to get better and better every single day, and those things will take care of itself. But some things is just out of my hands and some things you can’t control. But it pissed me off.”
James also wondered how he wasn’t selected Defensive Player of the Year – an award that went to Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol.
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“I had a chance to be Defensive Player of the Year and also MVP in the same season,” he said. “And that year Gasol was Defensive Player of the Year, but he made second-team All-Defense, OK. 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?”