LeBron James isn't holding his tongue. After a monumental year 17 in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers star finished a distant second in MVP voting, and he made it clear that it isn't sitting well with him.
"It pissed me off," James said when asked about losing the MVP race to Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, he told the media after game 1 of the Western Conference Finals that his anger isn't about coming in second. Instead, he's more upset that he only got 16 first-place votes.
"That’s my true answer," James said. "It pissed me off because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That's what's pissing me off more than anything. Not saying that the winner wasn't deserving of the MVP, but that pissed me off."
Antetokounmpo was awarded his second-straight MVP award on Friday. Along with winning MVP, Antetokounmpo was also named Defensive Player of the Year over James' teammate Anthony Davis. The recognition made Giannis the third player, along with Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, to win both the MVP and DPOY in the same year. He's also the only player other than Jordan to have multiple MVPs and a DPOY.
Although he was the best player one the team with the best record in the NBA, many people believe that the numbers Giannis put up don't tell the real story and that James had a better/more impactful season. The belief became evident when Giannis and the Bucks were bounced in the second round by the Miami Heat. As a result, James attacked the NBA's award voting process by questioning the league's motives.
"The voting scale is a little weird to me," James said. "If you take 2012 ... 2012-2013, I had a chance to be Defensive Player of the Year and also MVP in the same season. And that year, Marc Gasol was rewarded Defensive Player of the Year, but he made second-team All-Defense. That's like being MVP of the league but you make second-team All-NBA. ... Then I looked at Most Improved this year. And Brandon Ingram was amazing and I thought he should've won it, but did you see the votes that Devonte' Graham [got]?"
"It's a weird thing sometimes," he continued. "I don't know how much we are really watching the game of basketball or are we just in the narration mode, the narrative."
Despite ripping into the NBA and its agenda, 'Bron made it clear that he's "fine" with coming in second, but he'll take aggression out on the court.