Kevin Durant reacts to LeBron James-Giannis Antetokounmpo MVP results
Brooklyn Nets superstar small forward Kevin Durant was recently a guest on The Joe Budden Podcast, and the two-time NBA Finals MVP discussed Giannis Antetokounmpo winning MVP over LeBron James.
James was “pissed off” after only receiving 16 first-place votes by the NBA voters. Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, became the first player since Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (2015, 2016) to win back-to-back MVP awards and just the third player in NBA history (Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon) to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
Durant, who was the 2014 NBA MVP with the Oklahoma City Thunder, says he understands why Antetokounmpo won the award over James, though the future Hall of Famer did admit that LeBron is basically the best player in the NBA still.
“The criteria is the regular season, but I understand. I feel the same way you feel. I think that they should evaluate the whole season, playoffs included. If you include the playoffs, then Bron is easily the MVP. But I see why, with the rules now, why Giannis was the MVP. His numbers [were] crazy.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the NBA in PER during the 2019-20 regular season and also guided the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the league for the second straight campaign.
However, the Bucks lost to the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2020 playoffs in five games. Antetokounmpo suffered an ankle injury in Game 3 and sprained it again in Game 4, so he wasn’t able to play in Game 5.
LeBron James, meanwhile, led the Los Angeles Lakers to the best record in the rugged Western Conference standings. James, though, had another All-NBA teammate in Anthony Davis, while the Bucks’ second-best player is Khris Middleton, who is a good player but not even close to the superstar that Davis is.