LeBron James on Kobe Bryant’s challenge to Giannis Antetokounmpo
Earlier this year, five-time champion and all-time Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant issued a unique challenge to Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, a talented young player who has been on the rise since his NBA debut in 2013. What was Bryant’s plea, you ask? For Giannis to win this year’s Kia MVP award.
Winning the NBA’s MVP award is a tall order for any player, but Antetokounmpo, a native of Athens, Greece, could have a real shot at it. In his 80 games played for the Bucks last season, the newly-dubbed All Star turned in career-high averages in nearly every statistical category imaginable, including points (22.9), rebounds (8.7), assists (5.4), blocks (1.9), and steals (1.6).
After Friday’s shootaround, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was asked what he thinks of Kobe’s challenge for Giannis. Though he’s likely on a quest to obtain the honor himself, the King says Giannis has the talent and coaching required for such an achievement.
“Well, I think at the end of the day, it’s all about team success,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on Friday afternooon. “That’s what we all want. I’m not here to piggyback on what someone else has challenged him on. That’s for him and his teammates and the response that he had from Kobe. But he has the skill set, he has the talent and he has a great coach that can help him get to that point.”
The Cavs and Bucks, two familiar sides, are scheduled to meet tonight at 7:00 PM EST inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Whether or not Antetokounmpo will indeed claim this season’s MVP award as Kobe has requested remains to be seen. For now, let’s just try to enjoy the regular season ride.