NBA news: Giannis Antetokounmpo-LeBron James MVP, per Paul Pierce
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Giannis Antetokounmpo-LeBron James MVP debate, according to Paul Pierce

Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Paul Pierce

Previously, Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce took a lot of flak for claiming that in his mind, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is not a Top 5 player in NBA history. Pierce has now taken another shot at LeBron, but this time around, the retired 10-time All-Star has come out to say that Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is the rightful winner of this season’s MVP award and not James.

Pierce laid out his argument in a recent appearance on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” program, and this is what he had to say about the Giannis-LeBron James debate:

“You don’t base MVP off of one game like it’s the All-Star game,” Pierce said, via Orlando Silve of Fadeaway World. “LeBron won the battle (against Giannis), but the war is already won by Giannis. (…) He’s putting historic numbers for a guy his size, he has the best team, a record-wise and the numbers speak for themselves. He’s been dominating all year long, so I take him for MVP and I’ll take LeBron second.”

For the record, Pierce is pertaining to the most recent matchup between the Lakers and the Bucks on March 6, which resulted in a 113-103 victory in favor of the Purple & Gold. This was the second meeting of arguably the two best teams in the NBA this season, with the Bucks scoring a 111-104 win back in December 20.

As for the numbers, James is currently putting up 25.7 points (on 49.8 percent shooting), 7.9 rebounds, a league-leading 10.6 assists, and 1.2 steals, while also knocking down 2.2 triples per game. James has led the Lakers to a 48-13 record, which is good for the top spot in the West.

As for Antetokounmpo — the reigning MVP — the 25-year-old is averaging 29.6 points (on 54.7 percent from the floor), 13.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks, while connection in a career-best 1.5 3-pointers per game. The Bucks are the owners of the very best record throughout the league with 53 wins against just 12 losses.

There’s no denying that both men have a claim for this year’s MVP award, but as he expressed above, we all know which side Pierce is taking here — unsurprisingly.