With the NBA‘s regular season coming to an end on Wednesday night, one of the biggest burning questions about the season is who will take home this year’s MVP. After 81 games, the MVP has been whittled down to two candidates: James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Harden has been on a tear all season long, lighting up literally every single team that he’s seen this year. Harden has given every NBA team at least 30 at some point, and is averaging six more points per game than what he did last year in his first MVP season.
On the flip side, you have Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 27, 12 and 6—career highs and team highs for all three categories. The Milwaukee Bucks have already locked up the NBA’s best record and are the NBA’s best defensive team, with Antetokounmpo growing into the best defender Milwaukee has. One of the biggest reasons Antetokounmpo has grown into an MVP candidate is that he’s dedicated his life to basketball— and that includes his time in the offseason.
Lakers star LeBron James is in the midst of recruiting for the movie Space Jam 2, offered Antetokounmpo a role, and was promptly turned down, according to ESPN.
Antetokounmpo does make summer modifications to accommodate relaxation and family time. Still, when approached about starring in “Space Jam 2” with LeBron James, Antetokounmpo declined. Being in the film would have required him to give up two weeks of private workouts to train with his fellow stars while making the movie, a total non-starter, given Antetokounmpo’s reclusive tendencies.
“I don’t like being Hollywood,” Antetokounmpo said. “I don’t like all this extra drama. I am just going to try to be me.”
Antetokounmpo is only 24 and will have plenty of opportunities to make big splashes in verticals outside of basketball if he wants, but the kid seems to be focused on nothing other than becoming the best basketball player in the world.
Shaquille O’Neal recently said Antetokounmpo is better than he was at age 24 and relinquished the ‘Superman’ nickname to the star forward. Antetokounmpo may not win this year’s MVP, but he’s going to be in contention for the award many more times throughout the course of his career.