"The King" wasn't too pleased seeing the crown he thought he deserved to get go to another winner.
Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James on Friday didn't hide his disappointment after losing out in the 2020 NBA Most Valuable Player race.
In addressing the issue, James didn't mention by name Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was handed the award for a second season in a row.
“I’m not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP, but that pissed me off,” James said.
Antetokounmpo won in a landslide, receiving 85 first-place votes from a global panel of sports reporters and broadcasters, the league announced on Friday.
James, who averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and a league-best 10.2 assists in the regular season, received 16 first-place votes and the third finalist, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, did not receive any first-place votes.
The voting was based on performance from the start of the season through March 11, when play was shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
It did not included the "seeding games" played when teams in contention for playoff spots once play resumed in Orlando.
“Like I said, I never came into this league saying I’m gonna be MVP or be a champion. I’ve always said I just want to get better and better every single day, and those things will take care of itself,” said James, whose Lakers are in the middle of the Western Conference finals while Antetokounmpo's Bucks have been eliminated.
“There are some things that are out of your hand, things that are out of your control but it pissed me off.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said James deserved to win MVP because “nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James.”
“That’s true for this season, it’s why he should be MVP, and honestly it’s probably true in the history of the game that no one impacts winning more than LeBron James,” Vogel said.
-- With a report from Agence France-Presse