During the 2019-20 NBA season, LeBron James was a favorite to win the MVP award. But James did not end up winning the prestigious award. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award for the second consecutive year.
James finished second in the voting, receiving 16 first-place votes. The four-time MVP had something to say about the NBA and its voting process for awards.
LeBron James has cemented his legacy in the NBA
There’s no question that James is one of the best players ever to play in the NBA. In his 17th season, James has not slowed down one bit. He continues to display his talents and remains an impact whenever he’s on the court. James was destined for greatness when he first entered the league. The Akron, Ohio native won his first MVP award in 2009. He was in the league for six years when he won his first MVP award. That season he averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.2 assists.
The next season James continued his dominance and won the MVP award for a second consecutive season. He averaged 29.7 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.3 rebounds. James was the face of the league during those two seasons. The way he impacted the game was memorable, and he continued to get better and better.
His third MVP award came when he was playing for the Miami Heat. That year he was determined to win a championship, and he led a talented team with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. You could see it in his eyes how determined James was to have success during the 2011-12 season. In his second season with the Heat, he averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. James led the Heat to the NBA Finals, where they took on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat won the title, giving James the first NBA championship of his career.
But it didn’t stop there for James. The next season he went on to win the MVP award for the second consecutive season and also led the Heat back to the finals, where they won their second consecutive title. In two years, James had two MVPs and two NBA titles.
LeBron James still dominating in year 17
If you watched James play this season, you would not think that he was in his 17th NBA season. The things that he did on the court were awe-inspiring and how he was able to lead his team to success was impressive as well. He led the Lakers to a first-place finish in the Western Conference. Coming into the season, the Lakers were predicted to compete for a championship.
With James being healthy this season, the Lakers lived up to the hype and dominated throughout the season. James showed why he was one of the league’s top players. At the age of 35, James played like he was his younger self. The way he was able to score and control the game was unparalleled. With James on the floor, the Lakers always had a good chance of winning.
LeBron James believes the voting for awards is ‘a little weird’
James averaged 25.3 points, 10.2 assists, and 7.8 rebounds during the 2019-20 season. His 10.2 assists led the league. The two players that were always in the conversation for the MVP award were James and Antetokounmpo, who was the reigning MVP. Despite James putting up impressive numbers in his 17th season, it was not enough for him to win the MVP award as Antetokounmpo took it home for the second consecutive year.
After the LA Lakers victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, James talked about how he felt about the postseason awards’ voting process. When James first found out he only received 16 first-place votes, he was pissed off. James said he was “absolutely fine” after the win. But he did voice his opinion about how the league votes.
“The voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes,” James said in a post-game interview. After he made that statement, he talked about how he had the opportunity to win the Defensive Player of the Year and MVP in 2013, but Marc Gasol won the Defensive Player of the Year award. James was confused about how Gasol won the award but was an All-Defensive Second Team selection, and he was a First Team selection.
Antetokounmpo won the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year this season and joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win both awards in the same season. James has a right to call the voting process a little weird because he, in fact, should have won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013. Now it would have been different if Gasol made the All-Defensive First Team, but he didn’t. It’ll be interesting to see how the league responds to James’ statement if they decide to respond.
Stats Courtesy of Basketball-Reference