- LeBron James, not Giannis Antetokounmpo, should have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player this season, according to the league's 2014 MVP Kevin Durant.
- "If you include the playoffs, the Bron is easily the MVP," Durant said, according to Essentially Sports.
- Shaquille O'Neal also believes James was the real MVP, saying: "If you're the best player in the world, [how] can you not be the MVP?"
- Antetokounmpo won his second consecutive MVP title last week, a result that James said "pissed me off."
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LeBron James, not Giannis Antetokounmpo, should have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player this season, according to Brooklyn Nets star and one-time MVP Kevin Durant.
Antetokounmpo was named MVP for the second year running last week after helping the Milwaukee Bucks win the Eastern Conference and reach the semifinals of the play-offs, where they were ultimately beaten by the Miami Heat.
James told reporters after that he was "pissed off" he didn't win, and Durant — who was the league's MVP in 2014 — says he understands why.
"The criteria is the regular season, but I understand," Durant told the Joe Budden Podcast, as per Essentially Sports, adding: "I think that they should evaluate the whole season, playoffs included.
"If you include the playoffs, the Bron is easily the MVP. But I see why, with the rules now, why Giannis was the MVP. His numbers [were] crazy."
In the regular season, Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, while LeBron managed 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.2 assists.
During the post-season, Antetokounmpo averaged 26.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists in nine games, while LeBron has averaged 24.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in 13 games.
Despite Giannis' superior statistics, Durant isn't the only one who believes LeBron should have been named MVP, with Shaquille O'Neal also backing the Lakers star to have been the division's best player this year.
"LeBron is the best player in the world. So if you're the best player in the world, [how] can you not be the MVP?" Shaq said, according to Essentially Sports.
"If you're the best player in the world, you should always get an MVP. Period."
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