Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo could have touted himself as an MVP candidate after leading his team to a 116-109 road victory over James Harden's Houston Rockets on Wednesday, but he took a more cautious approach.
"To be honest with you, all I care about right now is getting better, helping my team win," Antetokounmpo said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. "And [becoming the league's best player is] going to take care of itself. I know that one day it might happen. I don't know if I'm there yet, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to get there, because that's what I want to be."
His Bucks have done plenty of winning, moving to 29-11 as the top seed in the Eastern Conference with the victory.
Happy 37th Birthday Dwyane Wade
Steph Is a Few Shots Away from NBA 3-Point History
Can Harden Keep His Dominance Going?
Steph Gifts Fan Who Asked for Girls UA Kicks with New Curry 6s
Happy 34th Birthday to LeBron 👑
4 Years Ago, Kobe Passed Jordan on the NBA Scoring List
Drummond and Embiid Reignite Rivalry
Happy 24th Birthday to Giannis Antetokounmpo
D-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50
Dubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a Challenge
CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time Coming
NBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded Tattoos
The NBA Is Back and the Soccer World Is Pumped
Boban Is Back to Break It Down for Another Season
Players Battle Campers in Rivalry of the Summer
Happy 30th to KD!
Andrew Bynum Is Making an NBA Comeback
Kobe's Hottest Kicks 👟
The Kyrie-I.T. Trade Shook the NBA 1 Year Ago Today
Dyckman Courts Are the Red Carpet of Streetball
Antetokounmpo was dominant with 27 points, 21 rebounds and five assists in the showdown with reigning MVP Harden, who boosted his own chances at winning the award again with 42 points, 11 boards and six assists.
Harden has now scored more than 30 points in 14 straight games and surpassed 40 eight times during that span.
However, he is no runaway in the MVP race thanks largely to Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 26.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game while playing impressive defense. Opponents are shooting 5.7 percent worse than their normal averages when he defends them, per NBA.com.
The head-to-head clash between Antetokounmpo and Harden was under the spotlight Wednesday, but team success is clearly a priority right now.