Giannis Antetokounmpo follows all things NBA-related, so he has heard about the ongoing MVP debate that has raged in recent weeks.
For the most part, basketball personalities have been arguing about whether Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic deserves to win his third straight MVP award or if the honor should go to Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
By the numbers, though – Antetokounmpo has as much a claim to the award as anyone.
This year Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.4 points per game on 54.2 percent shooting from the field, along with 11.9 rebounds. His Milwaukee Bucks presently own the NBA’s best record.
Jokic, meanwhile, is averaging 24.8 points per game on 63.3 percent shooting from the field, along with 11.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists. His Nuggets are three games back of Milwaukee for the league’s best record.
Embiid is averaging 33.5 points per game on 54.1 percent shooting from the field, along with 10.2 rebounds. His 76ers are also three back of Antetokounmpo’s Bucks.
With all that in mind, it’s hard to see why Antetokounmpo isn’t the MVP frontrunner this year.
In a recent conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Antetokounmpo offered his thoughts on the constantly-changing MVP criteria.
“Like, I believe — and I know — that people are dominating,” he said.
“So what is the MVP? Is it the guy who scores the most points? Is it the guy who’s the most efficient? Is it the guy who is the most dominant? Is it the guy who is the most valuable? Sometimes, the best player isn’t the most valuable player on the team.
“Like, I feel like Brook Lopez is such a valuable player for our team. Like (the MVP criteria) just f——- — sorry for my language — it just changes. As I said again, I can’t control that. I can control only how I prepare for the game and try to be ready for the game.”
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 16, 2023
Whether he is naming the best player in the NBA today or his favorite NBA team to play against, Antetokounmpo always keeps it real.
So if he is saying this about the MVP conversation, you know he means it.
Who will ultimately walk away with the MVP award in 2023? An answer will emerge soon enough.
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