LeBron James might have the Los Angeles Lakers just three wins away from the NBA Finals, but he has reason to be unhappy.
Before the Lakers’ 126-114 Game 1 win over the Denver Nuggets to tip off the Western Conference finals, the league announced the MVP voting for the 2019-20 season on Friday, and James came in second to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It was the fourth time in his 17-year career that the Lakers’ star finished as the runner-up for the league’s most prestigious individual award, tied with Jerry West and Larry Bird for most all time.
“Pissed me off. That’s my true answer,” James said after pumping in 15 points with 12 assists in the series opener. “It pissed me off, because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything.
“You know, not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP. But that pissed me off. And I finished second a lot in my career, either from a championship, and now four times as an MVP.”
"It pissed me off."
—LeBron on this year's MVP voting pic.twitter.com/K2qTY2QaRS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 19, 2020
James was referencing his NBA finals record of 3-6, a winning percentage that often gets brought up as the first thing separating him and Michael Jordan, who was 6-0 in the championship round.
It was James’ closest second-place finish, with 209 MVP voting points separating him and Antetokounmpo.
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