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Five-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving believes that former teammate LeBron James should’ve won this year’s NBA MVP plum.
Irving, who played alongside James in Cleveland, extended his congratulations to this year’s MVP James Harden but he has no doubt that his erstwhile teammate deserved to win the award. The 26-year-old Irving averaged 21.6 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in his six seasons with the Cavaliers.
“MVP is hard to gauge nowadays, because now you have the people’s MVP and you have, like, the NBA’s MVP. I think the people’s MVP was definitely James, but the NBA MVP was definitely ‘Bron. Easily,” Irving explained.
James, who has won the prestigious MVP award four times, only accumulated 15 first-place votes for a total of 738 points. The 33-year-old James finished the 2017-18 NBA regular season with stellar averages of 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, and 8.6 rebounds in 82 games played. James also led the Cavaliers into its fourth consecutive finals appearance only to lose to the Warriors.
James Harden Wins 2018 MVP Award
Harden who plays for the Rockets took home the trophy after averaging 30.4 points while leading his team into a 65-win season. The Rockets scoring machine earned 86 first-place votes for a total of 965 points. Harden finished second in voting to Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder last year.
Harden also became the first Rocket to win the MVP trophy since Hakeem Olajuwon captured the award in the 1993-94 season. He also spearheaded his team into the playoffs before losing to the Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
Additionally, the NBA scoring champion also joined Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, and Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to average 30 points per game while leading their teams into winning 65 games.
Unique Trend In The NBA
Throughout the years, the league has been awarding the MVP award to different players every season. Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain are the only players to win such award three consecutive times. Meanwhile, Michael Jordan who was a force to be reckoned with from 1996 to 1998 only grabbed two MVP plums during that span with the other one won by Karl Malone.
In spite of being considered by many as the best player in the world, James hasn’t won a single MVP award since 2013. The 14-time NBA All-Star stuffed the stat sheet last season scoring a total of 2251 points, 747 assists, 709 rebounds, 116 steals, and 71 blocks. Prior to last season, the last time James scored 2000 or more points in a single season was in 2013-14.
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