J.R. Smith says everyone knows LeBron James is the real MVP
On a night when LeBron James posted is second triple-double of the season (21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) in a 109-97 win over the Detroit Pistons after sitting out Sunday’s game, one of the superstar’s teammates unequivocally stated that everyone knows King James is the real NBA MVP.
J.R. Smith proclaimed James as the MVP of the league during an on-court, postgame interview with Quicken Loans Arena’s emcee.
“Who? The real MVP?” Smith said as fans exited the arena, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “There’s a lot of speculation about who should get the award, but we all know who the real MVP is.”
In the past week, most experts have stated the pursuit of MVP has come down to a three-horse race, with the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (who has his own thoughts on his merits) running neck-and-neck with Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook not trailing far behind the frontrunners.
Smith said despite the outstanding seasons by other players in the league, James deserves the award this year, just as he does every other season.
“In actuality, if you really wanted to, you could give it to him every year,” Smith said of his teammate. “I mean, the numbers, what he does for teams. You see one year removed from a team like Miami — and they probably won’t even make the playoffs — to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since he left and then, all of the sudden, we’re a 52-win team. So, I don’t think you can do that with anybody else that’s in our league right now.
“Not to knock anything from the other two guys,” Smith said, alluding specifically to Curry and Harden. “They’re having great years, career years for both of them, but if you want to be realistic about it, you could give it to him every time.”
James has won the MVP award four times in his career, but he appears to be a long shot this season to snag his fifth, despite his teammate’s compelling argument, not to mention the torrid stretch of basketball James and the Cavaliers have enjoyed since his two-week break.
Still, his Smith’s endorsement of James’ worthiness of MVP consideration is a considerable improvement over what Kevin Love had to say about the issue earlier this season.
(image credit: ESPN)