Giannis Antetokounmpo Heaps Praise on Lakers Star LeBron James

Getty LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

While the race for NBA MVP is a hotly-contested between Milwaukee Bucks stud Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, the two All-Star captains have major respect for one another.

Antetokounmpo voiced his admiration for James — 10 years his elder — on Wednesday following the Bucks victory over Indiana.

“It’s amazing. He’s 35 and playing at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said. “He just leads the path for us. … A lot of times we think that, ‘OK, we’re going to retire at 35,’ but seeing a guy at 35 being still top-three best player in the world, that makes us want to be there.”

“Makes me want to be there one day, so I’ve got to keep taking care of my body, eating the right way, being healthy, and as I said — he paved the way, and hopefully we can just follow.”

Bucks Expect Tough Tilt Against Lakers

The Bucks and Lakers face off for the season time the season on Friday. Milwaukee took the first matchup 111-104 on Dec. 19. It’s a potential Finals preview as the Bucks have the best record in the NBA at 53-9 while the Lakers lead the West at 47-13.

“The Lakers are gonna come play hard. We know that. I watched the game last night. They played extremely hard. They played through Anthony Davis, LeBron was facilitating, guys were shooting the ball, they were running to the corner, they were playing good basketball,” Antetokounmpo said. “And they lost the first game, so they’re gonna come out and try to win the second one.

“But at the end of the day, we gotta do what we do, which is defend and run to the corner and run to our spots, move the ball, take the open shot, make the right play, drive the lanes. We’ve done this two years now — a year and a half, almost two years — and things take care of itself. So as a leader, I just gotta do that, and as a team, we just gotta stay on track.”

Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe echoed those sentiments from the defending MVP.

“Obviously, they’re gonna try to get payback. We beat ’em pretty bad,” Bledsoe told reporters. “They’re gonna try to come out strong, so we just gotta match their intensity. They’re at the top for a reason — they’ve got two of the best players in the league and a great supporting cast. So we just gotta try to match their intensity.”

Not Everyone Believes ‘Greek Freak’ is MVP Runaway

lebron james

GettyLos Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

Antetokounmpo is currently -1000 to win the NBA MVP, according to Bovada. James trails in a distance second at +600. However, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry feels that LeBron should be the runaway candidate.

“I’m just amazed that they talk about anybody other than him for MVP,” Gentry said this week after watching James post a 34-point triple-double against his team. “That’s what he does. Every team that he’s been to, every team that he’s gone, they have the chance to win the championship.

“So to me, I’m not sure what the definition of MVP is, but he makes everyone on his team better. And he makes it difficult for everybody playing him.”

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