Giannis, LeBron, Harden in NBA MVP battle

AAP
Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and LA Lakers' LeBron James are two of three NBA MVP finalists.
Camera IconMilwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and LA Lakers' LeBron James are two of three NBA MVP finalists.

This season's NBA MVP has won the award before.

A trio of past winners of the award - reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, four-time MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and 2018 winner James Harden of the Houston Rockets - were announced Saturday as the finalists for this season's top NBA individual honor.

James would join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (a six-time winner), Michael Jordan and Bill Russell as the NBA's only five-time MVPs.

Antetokounmpo is bidding to become the 12th back-to-back winner and Harden is vying for his second MVP in three seasons.

"He's an incredible teammate, plays unselfishly, does everything," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo last month, stating his best player's MVP case.

"And I think that's kind of what the MVP is, so we certainly feel like he's very deserving and we'll be excited to support him."

Antetokounmpo is also a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, while Utah's Rudy Gobert is bidding to win that trophy for a third consecutive season.

The league announced the top three vote-getters in six individual categories.

Voting has already taken place by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The NBA has not set specific dates when the winners will be announced.

None of the games taking place at the NBA's restart at Walt Disney World factored into the voting, because ballots were due before games began again July 30.

NBA 2020 HONOURS NOMINATIONS

MVP - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), James Harden (Houston

Rookie of the Year - Ja Morant (Memphis), Kendrick Nunn (Miami), Zion Williamson (New Orleans)

Most Improved Player - Bam Adebayo (Miami), Luka Doncic (Dallas), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans)

Sixth Man - Montrezl Harrell and Lou Willams (Los Angeles Clippers), Dennis Schroder (Oklahoma City)

Defensive Player of the Year - Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Rudy Gobert (Utah)

Coach of the Year - Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee), Billy Donovan (Oklahoma City), Nick Nurse (Toronto)

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