Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard said LeBron James is his pick for MVP over Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“If you said either one, I feel like nobody would have a problem with it. But, me personally, this season I think it’s LeBron,” Lillard said on ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby Show. “They’re the number one team in the West. They've been consistent all year long. And for him to be at the age he’s at, with the amount of miles he has on his body, how often he’s talked about the pressure they put on him and every little thing that he does. And the level he’s performing at, in my opinion, he’s the MVP."
Before the NBA was suspended March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, James was averaging 25.7 points, an NBA-best 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds a game for the Lakers, who were atop the Western Conference with a record of 49-14.
Antetokounmpo, the reigning MVP, was averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists for the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best record in the league at 53-12.
The Lakers and Bucks each won a game against each other this season. In their first matchup on Dec. 19, Antetokounmpo had had 34 points and 11 rebounds in the Bucks' 111-104 win at Fiserv Forum.
When they last played each other at Staples Center on March 6, James had 37 points on 12-for-21 shooting, eight rebounds and eight assists in the Lakers' 113-103 win.
After that game, Magic Johnson tweeted that James "was the best player in Staples Center tonight." And Jared Dudley tweeted that "one mans [sic] game did a little more talking tonight," adding a crown emoji.
James, who is in his 17th season in the league, is 35 years old, a decade older than the 25-year-old Antetokounmpo.