Sam Perkins Picks MVP, NBA Champion

Perkins believes that LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will take home some hardware this season

July 22, 2020 - 7:53 am
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The NBA will soon resume the 2019-20 season, but the MVP race has ended. The league said that only games played through March 11 should count toward season awards.

So, who is the MVP? Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James?

“I really think Giannis [is the MVP],” former NBA player Sam Perkins told JR SportBrief. “Don’t get me wrong: I like them both. The surge came on with LeBron towards the end of the season, but Giannis plays on that level every given night. He makes a big difference.”

James, 35, averaged 25.7 points and a league-high 10.6 assists when the league stopped play in March. He is the sixth player in NBA history to average at least 25 points and 10 assists in the same season and the oldest player to lead the league in assists for the first time in his career. The Lakers (49-14) have the best record in the Western Conference.

Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, averaged 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists for the Bucks (53-12), who have the best record in the NBA.

“He doesn’t have as strong [of a] team as the Lakers [in terms of] individual talent,” Perkins said of Antetokounmpo. “He doesn’t have an Anthony Davis. He is the Anthony Davis. He is the LeBron. And he has a supporting cast. But I just can’t see [LeBron winning it]. [Giannis] is the MVP. I could be wrong, but that’s just my personal view.”

While Perkins believes Antetokounmpo will be the MVP, he thinks James will win his fourth NBA title – and his first with the Lakers.

“It’s more personal with the players because they’ve stuck their necks out to play under these conditions,” Perkins said. “This is probably one of the hardest ones to win because of all the elements [at play]. I’m thinking they’re playing this because they want him to get another ring. That’s my personal feeling. With the new format that is presented, it could be anybody’s game. But I don’t really see anybody beating them. They’re going to have to dig in in the trenches, but I really believe that they will win.”

The Lakers have won 16 NBA titles. Their last title came in 2010, with Kobe Bryant leading the way.

“If they do win, Los Angeles will get another notch in their belt as a championship [organization],” Perkins said. “LeBron will continue his legacy, Anthony Davis will come on and all those players that support the Lakers’ stars will get a chance to feel what it’s like to be champions.”