During the 2019-20 season, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo became the third player in NBA history to win MVP and DPOY in the same campaign. LA Lakers superstar LeBron James came in second place in the MVP voting, but he only received 16 first-place votes.
At the Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, James talked about how he was upset he only got 16 first-place MVP votes. The small forward used that as motivation to win his fourth title and fourth Finals MVP.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo’s historic 2019-20 season ended in the second round of the 2020 playoffs, as the Bucks lost to the Miami Heat in five games. Giannis has won the last two MVP awards, but he has zero Finals appearances to show for it.
The Lakers and Bucks met for the first time in 2020-21 in Milwaukee on Thursday, and LeBron James continued to own Giannis Antetokounmpo. James has seemingly taken things personally against Antetokounmpo ever since what happened on December 19, 2019.
Giannis Antetokounmpo crowned himself in front of LeBron James
The Bucks hosted the Lakers on December 19, 2019. Milwaukee not only won by a final score of 111-104, but Giannis Antetokounmpo thoroughly outplayed LeBron James.
James finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in 36 minutes of action while shooting 8-of-19 from the field. Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo put up 34 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists and shot 11-of-19 overall. The Bucks forward shot 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and clicked on all cylinders from start to finish.
After one of his 3-pointers, Antetokounmpo crowned himself as the new king of the NBA by putting an imaginary crown on his head. It was a direct shot at James, whose nickname is The King.
He’ll never admit it, but LeBron James saw Giannis Antetokounmpo’s celebration and has been on a mission ever since that December game.
LeBron James made NBA history with his fourth Finals MVP
After winning his fourth Finals MVP, LeBron James became the first player in NBA history to win three Finals MVP awards with three different teams. The former No. 1 overall pick won two Finals MVPs with the Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers before winning his fourth with the Lakers.
James was a monster against the Heat in the 2020 Finals. He averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists while shooting 59.1% from the field, 41.7% from beyond the arc, and 66.7% from the free-throw line. After missing the playoffs in 2018-19 in his first season with the Lakers, LeBron completed his “revenge” season by reminding everyone he is the best player in the world.
Giannis Antetokounmpo may have won MVP and DPOY in 2019-20, but LeBron James got the last laugh by winning his fourth title. Ever since the Bucks swingman crowned himself as the new king of the NBA, The Chosen One has dominated The Greek Freak.
The King has torched Giannis Antetokounmpo in two straight meetings
LeBron James and the Lakers are 2-0 against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks since the two-time MVP crowned himself as a king on December 19, 2019. On March 6, 2020, LA defeated Milwaukee by 10 points behind James’ 37 points at Staples Center.
In the first meeting between the Lakers and Bucks in 2020-21, LeBron torched Antetokounmpo for 34 points. He shot 13-of-25 from the field and an impressive 6-of-10 from beyond the 3-point line. Giannis finished with 25 points, but LeBron showed the world he’s on another level than every other superstar in the league.