LeBron James entered his postgame press conference with a light wrap on his right ankle having turned it on a drive to the basket early in Game 1 against Denver.
After initially appearing to be in significant pain, James simply laced up his shoe and continued on, finishing with 15 points and 12 assists as the Lakers comfortably handled the Nuggets in a 126-114 victory.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, a large portion of his postgame media duties were taken up answering questions about finishing second in MVP voting to Milwaukee Bucks forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
"It pissed me off. That's my true answer. It pissed me off because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first place votes," James said .
"That's what pissed me off more than anything. Not saying the winner wasn't deserving of the MVP, but that pissed me off."
🤣🤣16 out of 101 🗳! Ok cool! I got y'all.- LeBron James (@KingJames) September 19, 2020
While he already has four MVP trophies of his own (2009,2010, 2012, 2013), he has now finished second in the award four times.
"I've finished second a lot in my career. Either from a championship and now four times as the MVP. I never came into this league saying 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. Some things are out of my hands, some things you can't control but it pissed me off."
HIGHLIGHTS: @KingJames directs the offense with 15 points and 12 dimes in Game 1. pic.twitter.com/9M66njO2hZ- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 19, 2020
Pressed on the voting system for the NBA's end of season awards, James said it has changed over his time in the league.
"It's changed over the years since I got into the league I know that. It's just changed, it's changed a lot."
"The voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes. I don't know how much really we're watching the game of basketball or are we just in the narration mode, the narrative."
James may not have added another regular-season MVP to his resume, but his Lakers squad remains in the box seat to head back to the NBA Finals where he could collect a fourth Finals MVP. That fact was not lost as he wrapped up postgame responsibilities.
"I'm fine. I'm going back to my room, drink some wine and sleep very well tonight. Let's not get it twisted. I'm great," he said.
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