NBA MVP voters are tired of Giannis; similar to Michael Jordan

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers believes Giannis Antetokounmpo is a victim of voter fatigue when it comes to deciding the MVP award.

“I don’t even want to get into it, but some of you are tired of voting,” Rivers told reporters on Friday. “Michael (Jordan) is probably the poster child for that. Giannis seems to be in that category; when you’re that good, everything you do is taken for granted. When you just look at his numbers, they’re amazing It’s unbelievable, and yet, you never hear his name. It’s unbelievable, but in some ways it’s more of a sign of respect than disrespect.”

One might think Jordan should have won the MVP every year during his prime with the Chicago Bulls, though it’s worth noting that he won the award five times, tying him with Bill Russell for second all-time. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six).

As for whether Antetokounmpo’s name is rarely heard in MVP discussions, this is quite debatable. He currently ranks third on the MVP rankings behind Nikola Jokic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who were back-to-back champions in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Finished third in voting the past two seasons.

Since he first won the award in 2018-19, the MVP conversation has been dominated by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jokic and Joel Embiid, all three of whom have excelled. This year feels as open as it has in a while, with players like Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic also in the running. Embiid would certainly be in the discussion if he wasn’t injured and qualified for the games needed to win the award.

Here’s a basic summary of the top five MVP contenders:

  • Jokic: 25.8 PPG (14th), 12.3 RPG (4th), 9.3 APG (4th), 31.42 player efficiency (2nd), and the Denver Nuggets are third in the Western Conference (41 wins, 19 losses).
  • Gilgeous-Alexander:31.2 PPG (2nd), 6.5 APG (14th), 30.71 PER (3rd), the Oklahoma City Thunder are second in the Western Conference (41-18).
  • Antetokounmpo: 30.8 PPG (third), 11.3 RPG (sixth), 6.3 APG (tied for 16th), 30.22 PER (fourth), and the Bucks are third in the Eastern Conference (40-21).
  • Tatum: 27.1 PPG (ninth), 8.5 RPG (tied for 23rd), 4.8 APG (tied for 45th), 22.43 PER (18th), the Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 47-12.
  • Doncic: 34.5 PPG (1st), 8.9 RPG (19th), 9.7 APG (3rd), 28.98 PER (5th), and the Dallas Mavericks are eighth in the Western Conference (34-26).

Is there one player in the group who is significantly above the others? These are very strong cases for different reasons.

Assuming Giannis maintains his current level, he will be one of the major contenders. But if he doesn’t win, it’ll likely come down to a field of candidates rather than voter fatigue.

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