Kyrie Irving: James Harden ‘people’s MVP;’ LeBron James ‘definitely’ real MVP
James Harden may have secured the hardware Monday night as the MVP of the 2017-18 NBA season, but Kyrie Irving believes LeBron James “definitely” deserved the honor.
“MVP, it’s hard to gauge nowadays. Because now you have the people’s MVP and you have, like, the NBA’s MVP,” the Boston Celtics point guard said during an appearance on New York’s Hot 97 to promote “Uncle Drew” on Wednesday, as transcribed by ESPN. “I think the people’s MVP was definitely James [Harden], but the NBA MVP is definitely LeBron [James].”
Harden won the award in a landslide, garnering 86 of the 101 first-place votes for MVP and finishing with 965 points. James came in a distant second, receiving the other 15 first-place votes and 738 total points.
“If we’re talking strictly based off stats, like he checks every mark,” Irving said of his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate. “… He’s incredible, he’s incredible.”
Speaking strictly from a statistical standpoint, the impressive numbers put up by Harden and James are as follows: 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds; 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds, respectively.
James practically dragged a talent-challenged Cavaliers squad to the NBA Finals almost on his own, while Harden, along with Chris Paul, reached the Western Conference Finals before losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.
It certainly seems as time has passed that any perceived animosity that existed between Irving and James that led to the former’s exodus out of Cleveland has diminished. Both stars for the most part have had nothing bad to say about the other since Irving joined the Celtics. Irving’s endorsement of LeBron as the season’s true MVP only further illustrates as much.