LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden Named 2020 MVP Finalists

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, dribbles against Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

The NBA announced Saturday that Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Houston Rockets guard James Harden are this year's finalists for the league's MVP award. 

James, a four-time MVP, entered Saturday leading the league with 10.3 assists per game while also averaging 25.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest. His Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference (51-17) and have clinched the top overall seed in the conference. 

Antetokounmpo, the defending MVP, is having another monster season and is second in rebounds per game (13.7) and third in points per contest (29.7). His Bucks hold the NBA's best record at 55-14. 

Harden, who won the 2017-18 MVP award, is one of just two players averaging over 30 points per game this season, leading the league at 34.3. He's adding 7.5 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game, and his 285 made three-pointers also lead the league. 

TurnerSportsPR @TurnerSportsPR

"I'm going with LeBron." @money23green explains why @KingJames should win MVP & raises an interesting question about @JHarden13 https://t.co/wdwbdaJKth

Given the unique circumstances of this season, with the league going on hiatus for four months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all awards voting only took pre-hiatus performances and stats into consideration. All three of James, Antetokounmpo and Harden are vying for a title in the NBA's restart at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. 

As for the other awards, Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson are the finalists for Rookie of the Year, while Antetokounmpo, Lakers forward Anthony Davis and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert are the finalists for Defensive Player of the Year.