Says Giannis Antetokounmpo, Not LeBron James, Best Player in Orlando Bubble

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks have the best records in their respective conferences as the NBA heads towards its resumption on July 30.

Both teams are led by superstar forwards, the Lakers by LeBron James and the Bucks by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

However, a recent article from’s Sekou Smith ranks Antetokounmpo as the best player in the NBA’s 22-team bubble.

“The reigning Kia MVP was in the midst of a brilliant encore campaign when the season went on hiatus back on March 11,” Smith wrote. “If Giannis wasn’t at the top of your MVP ballot, he was no lower than second.

“Leading the Bucks to the best record in the league with one dominant performance after another was proof that ‘The Greek Freak’ is still in the ascension phase of his development. He’s still got plenty of room to grow his game. The bubble is yet another platform for Giannis to run wild on the competition.”

Antetokounmpo has had a fantastic 2019-20 season, averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.

Still, James has been just as good in his age-35 campaign, averaging 25.7 points, a league-high 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Prior to the NBA’s suspension in March, James dropped 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists on Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee in a resounding 113-103 victory.

While that win came over four months ago, Smith explained that James has his focus on one thing heading into the league’s restart.

“Championship or bust,” Smith wrote. “At this stage of the game that’s the only way to define what awaits the league’s most high-profile and influential player in the Orlando bubble.

“When you perform at a Kia MVP level in your 17th season and are chasing the legacy LeBron is by trying to lead his third different team to a title, the ramifications of this unprecedented scenario are epic. The league’s assist leader is grinding as hard as ever, so you should expect nothing short of his best when the action kicks off in Orlando.”

It’s not a secret that once the season resumes the two will be battling for not only an NBA title, but the crown as the league’s best player as well.

It would only be fitting if the two squared off in the 2020 NBA Finals.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.