LeBron: Winning MVP 'has never motivated me'

Adam Pantozzi / National Basketball Association / Getty

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will go head-to-head on Friday in a battle between arguably this season's top NBA MVP candidates.

But ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers' showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks, James insists he's more driven to be the best player ever rather than adding a fifth MVP Award to his trophy cabinet.

"Regular-season MVP has never motivated me," James told reporters Thursday, including USA TODAY's Mark Medina. "To be the best to ever play the game has motivated me and has resulted in me being able to be league MVP a couple of times.

"But I've never gone into the season saying, 'Ok, league MVP is what I want to be.' I've gone into the season saying, 'Ok, I want to be the MVP of this team.' I want to be the best player in the world, and how I approach my game every day, how I take care of my body every day has resulted in things like that."

James has never been shy about his pursuit of greatness. Shortly after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title in 2016, the 16-time All-Star said Michael Jordan is the "ghost" he continues to chase.

James was last named the NBA's regular-season MVP after the 2012-13 campaign. He's earned the honor four times, which is tied for third on the league's all-time list with Wilt Chamberlain.

The 35-year-old is producing another strong campaign while leading the Association with 10.7 assists per contest. However, James will be in tough to supplant the Greek Freak, who remains the overwhelming oddsmakers' favorite.

LeBron: Winning MVP 'has never motivated me'
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