OF course he does. The Most Valuable Player award is a regular season award and his body of work during the regular season clearly shows him to be deserving.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wins his second consecutive MVP award and joins elite company in the likes of Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lebron James and other top-tier players who have won back-to-back MVPs.
He also joins Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to the only players to win the MVP award as well as the Defensive Player of the Year award in the same season.
He received 85 of the 101 first-place votes and earned 962 total points. James came in second with 753 points on 16 first place votes.
BEST. Giannis finished the season averaging 29. 5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 30.9 minutes throughout 57 games.
Under his leadership, the Milwaukee Bucks finished with the NBA- leading 53-12 record for games played through March 11.
In comparison, James averaged 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game, leading the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference.
CRITERIA. Those arguing for Lebron miss the mark when they cite his age and the fact that he is playing for the much tougher Western Conference.
Age is a non-factor in determining the MVP award because it is given to the best player in the NBA for the regular season. It’s as simple as that and there’s no need to complicate it.
Of course, it’s subjective because it is dependent on the voting and there were some years when some eyebrows were raised such as when Steve Nash won the award during the 2005-2006 season despite the fact that Kobe led the league in scoring with 35.4 points with 5.3 rebounds.
Nash had posted averages of 18.8 points and 10.5 assists and was a notorious defensive liability.
James has also been the subject of another perceived MVP snub back in 2010 when he led the then-winner Derrick Rose in every statistical category except assists.
DAVIS. But if you are arguing for James purely based on stats, then that argument falls on his own merit because this season Lebron isn’t even the best player on the Lakers team.
It’s Anthony Davis who leads Lebron in every category except for assists with 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
No doubt, Davis is the most talented player to have been paired up with James and both he and James are the main engines behind this team.
In contrast, Giannis only has Khris Middleton as his best back-up on the Bucks- who is hardly in the caliber of Davis.
So I don’t understand the fuss about Giannis wining the MVP award this year. The fact that his team got bounced in the second-round of the playoffs is of no moment. It’s a regular season award and that’s that.
LAST ROUND. It’s on the wifey, Hon. Judge Charina Navarro-Quijano as we celebrate 20 years of loving, wedded bliss. If ever a man had it all, it would have to be me. Cheers!