Samante: The MVP

Game On

The NBA 2019-2020 season MVP has been recently named. As most have expected, Giannis Antetokounmpo bagged his second straight MVP award. He joins the company of legends who have won back to back MVP awards. The last one to do it was Stephen Curry during the 2014-2016 seasons.

His second MVP award comes in the heels of the Bucks' second-round exit and has drawn questions about it. While he led the Bucks domination of the regular season, he faltered in the playoffs.

This development has made a case for another MVP candidate so strong, Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lebron has led the Lakers back to the Western Conference Finals after ten years. At 35, he has consistently shown what he is still capable of, leading the league in assists with his 10.2 dimes per game.

Now the burning question, who deserves it more?

While Giannis has dominated the regular season, Lebron and the Lakers have been shredding playoff teams en route to the conference finals. The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. Giannis may have exhausted himself, thus the different showing in the playoffs. It is where Lebron has proven his experience, deferring to his teammates, and not taking on everything himself.

Giannis still has a lot to learn. The grind, the tenacity, and will to reach the NBA Finals only have battle-scarred players. Giannis has been in the playoffs four years compared to Lebron, who has made the playoffs 14 of his 17 seasons. Eventually, Giannis will earn his stripes, but now, it is still Lebron's league. Undeniably, both are dominating players. The difference lies in the experience gained.

Aside from where they have led their team in the postseason, another barometer would be team chemistry. Lebron has been working on it even before the season started. He had reached out to his teammates even before they were teammates, case in point, Anthony Davis. Even before they became the superstar duo of the Lakers, he has been reaching out to him. It comes into play during crucial stretches of the games, trust and confidence in teammates, which can only happen with good team chemistry.

These are some things Giannis can learn from Lebron as he continues to grow in the league. He can be as dominant as Lebron has been or even more, but there are intangibles aside from stats that make for an MVP.

Giannis may be the regular-season MVP, but I would go with Lebron for league MVP.


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