A case of strep throat kept LeBron James out of a nationally televised game against the Chicago Bulls over the weekend that his Cavaliers lost at home, dropping them to 0-and-4 when James is not in the lineup this season.
James returned Monday night and fell four assists shy of a triple-double in a win over the Bucks.
According to the man himself, that's evidence that he should be in the running for the 2017 MVP award. But with Russell Westbrook and James Harden putting up staggering numbers in the Western Conference, is James deserving of MVP consideration?
On Tuesday's episode of Speak For Yourself, Colin Cowherd, Chris Broussard and Cris Carter reacted to James comments on the MVP race.
LeBron James: Look at my winning percentage
James said after the game Monday that while there are a number of worthy candidates, the award should come down to "winning."
“I don’t know, just look at my winning percentage. Look at my winning percentage when I’m on the floor and when I’m not on the floor.
"I think that’s what it’s all about. This league is all about just winning.
"… I don’t know. I mean there’s so many great guys, so many MVP candidates this year. Guys having great seasons. So we’ll see.”
Colin Cowherd: LeBron is the single most valuable player in the NBA
“What’s valuable mean? I mean, what does valuable mean? LeBron’s not valuable to a team… he’s valuable to a conference.
"Nick Saban’s not just dominated the SEC, he’s changed the sport. And he’s made an SEC Network. It didn’t exist before him.
"LeBron is the conference. When you look at graphs, with or without LeBron in Cleveland… with LeBron, the Cavaliers’ record is empirical, it’s best in the league. Without him, they’re one of the worst teams in the NBA. He’s by far the most valuable asset the [entire] league has.”
Adam HungerAdam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Broussard: The 'best' player doesn't always win MVP
“LeBron is the best player in the world, and he’s been the best player in the world for maybe 10 years now. Michael Jordan was the best player in the world for 10 years straight, he didn’t get the MVP award every time. That’s not how it goes.
"And even by LeBron’s own statement… I’ll look at your record this year. Golden State’s is better, and so is San Antonio’s. And Houston, with only one All-Star, is really close to your record. [LeBron’s] got the second most talented team in the league. I would say they’re underachieving. And it’s not based on what you’re gonna do in the Finals, because we know he’s probably going to play great in the Finals. He might, he’ll prove again he’s the best player in the world. It’s not based on what you’ve done in the past. It’s based on this regular season.
"And Harden and Westbrook, I’d say their teams are maxing out. They’re playing at as high a level as they can because of those two guys, that’s why I have them ahead of LeBron."
Ken BlazeKen Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cris Carter: Kevin Durant is being left out of the discussion
"We know what [Cleveland does] without LeBron. But coming into the season, it wasn’t a goal for LeBron to be MVP. And when you watch him, he’s doing unbelievable things. I think that the part that’s really special is he’s fourth in the NBA in assists. I think that goes underrated.
"Because if you have to watch LeBron play, and watch how much better he makes everyone on the court. I mean, they are a totally different team than they were two months ago.
"Now he should be in the running, but just like LeBron said, it should be based on percentage. Then, also, KD. KD’s having an outstanding year. KD should be in there. Isaiah Thomas."