LeBron James made his frustration clear over another MVP near-miss after helping the Los Angeles Lakers take a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference finals showdown with the Denver Nuggets.
Double-doubles from James and Anthony Davies inspired the top-seeded Lakers to a 126-114 victory in Game 1 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Speaking after the match, James made little attempt to hide his contempt for the MVP vote that saw Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo named the NBA's best player for a second consecutive season
"It p***** me off. That's my true answer," said four-time MVP James, who came in second behind Steve Nash in 2005-06, Kevin Durant in 2013-14 and James Harden in 2017-18.
"It p***** me off because out of 101 votes I got 16 first-placed votes. That's what pissed me off more than anything.
"I'm not saying that the winner wasn't worthy of the MVP but that p***** me off.
"I've finished second a lot in my career, either in a championship or now four times as an MVP.
"I never came into this league saying I wanted to be an MVP or a champion. I've always just said I want to get better and better every single day and those things will take care of themselves.
"There are some things out of my hands and some things you can't control. But it p***** me off."
Davis had no doubt his team-mate deserved greater recognition in the poll
"He deserves it," he said. "What he's been able to do for our team, the things he's been doing individually, on a consistent basis, night-in, night-out, just it's not even a question who deserves it."
James was keen to point out he was still happy with the bigger picture the Lakers have mapped out for themselves and ready to toast victory.
"I mean, I'm fine. Don't get it twisted," he added. "I'm perfectly fine. We're 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals. I'm absolutely fine.
"I'm absolutely great now. I'm going to go back to my room, drink some wine and sleep very well.
"I'm great. It's just the voting scale is a little weird to me sometimes."