'It Pissed Me Off'
'Honest LeBron James' is a good version of LeBron James.
And last night, he made an appearance at the Los Angeles Lakers' postgame press conference.
"It pissed me off. That's my true answer."
The NBA announced its MVP on Friday afternoon, and for the second consecutive year, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo took home the trophy in a landslide victory.
After the 2018-19 season, Giannis received 78 of 101 first-place MVP votes, beating out Houston Rockets superstar James Harden, who received 23 first-place votes.
And this year, Antetokounmpo was even more dominant when it came to the MVP ballot.
In short, James was not a fan of the final results, even though he said Giannis deserved the award.
"It pissed me off because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That's what pissed me off more than anything. I'm not saying that the winner wasn't deserving of the MVP, but that pissed me off."
Friday marked the fourth time that LeBron finished second in MVP voting. In 2005-06, then-Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash received 57 first-place votes to James' 16. In 2013-14, then-Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant secured 119 first-place votes to LeBron's 6. In 2017-18, Harden got 86 first-place votes to James' 15, and then, there was this year.
LeBron won the award in 2008-09 (109 first-place votes), 2009-10 (116 first-place votes), 2011-12 (85 first-place votes) and 2012-13 (120 first-place votes).
Said James: "I've finished second a lot in my career, either from a championship and now four times as an MVP. I never came into this league saying, 'Let me be an MVP or be a champion.' I've always said I just wanna get better and better every single day, and those things take care of themselves.
"There's some things that are out of my hands, some things you just can't control. But, it pissed me off."
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel also expressed bewilderment after the game in regards to LeBron's substantial loss in the MVP race.
"No disrespect to Giannis. Giannis had a great season ... but what LeBron does for our team, to me, is unparalleled."
Despite feeling slighted in the MVP voting, James made it clear after the game that his focus remains on the Western Conference Finals, where his Lakers lead the Denver Nuggets 1-0 after a resounding victory on Friday night.
"I mean, I'm fine. Don't get it twisted. I'm perfectly fine. We're 1-0 in the Western Conference finals. I'm absolutely fine."
For the Lakers, it would appear that 'Fine LeBron James' is also a good LeBron to have, considering in two of the three years that James has finished second in MVP voting, his team has made the Finals.