“There’s a lot of speculation about who should get the award, but we all know who the real MVP is.”
These were the words of Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith after he and his team defeated the Detroit Pistons last night. The topic of who should win this season’s MVP Award has been bandied about for most of the year, and Smith believes the most deserving candidate was sitting in the same locker room as he was last night.
It’s no surprise to hear the words “MVP” and “LeBron James” mentioned in the same sentence. He’s only won said honor four times in his 11 years in the league. Still almost unanimously seen as the best basketball player in the world, James will likely always be a popular pick for most valuable player.
This year, though, he doesn’t appear to be the most prevalent contender.
The two most talked about names are Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets star James Harden. Each has absolutely excelled this season, with Curry helping make Golden State the league’s best team, while Harden is averaging a career high 27.5 PPG. Additionally, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has earned some consideration, thanks to his string of triple-doubles keeping the Thunder alive despite the team dealing with injuries all year.
However, despite all of this, Smith isn’t sold. He continued to stump for James last night, making the claim you could “give it to him every time.” Of course, it’s hardly shocking to hear one of James’ teammates campaigning for him in the MVP race. You’d assume everyone on the Cavs’ roster would vote for James (barring Kevin Love, of course).
But, as the regular season winds to a close, you can’t help but ask whether or not James truly should be in consideration for 2014-15 MVP.