Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard all are having amazing seasons, but as far as Richard Jefferson is concerned, there’s only one MVP: LeBron James.
James is averaging 26 points, 8.9 assists and 8.4 rebounds and shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 38.5 percent on threes while playing 37.5 minutes per game. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best record in the East (45-22) … and LeBron is a distant third or fourth in MVP talk.
To Jefferson, James’ teammate the past two seasons, it makes no sense.
“It’s so funny when they keep talking about all these MVPs, and who’s the MVP, and you know, ‘Kawhi’s the MVP’, but then they go ‘Oh, but LeBron’s the best player on the planet’,” Jefferson said after Thursday night’s 91-83 win over Utah.
Jefferson says LeBron is getting devalued in the MVP conversations because everyone is used to seeing greatness from the King.
“LeBron does so much and sometimes you’re just like, ‘But we’ve seen this from LeBron; we haven’t seen this from (Russell) Westbrook’,” Jefferson said. “…You get complacent with excellence, and they’ve seen it so long, they’ve seen him make everyone around him better, they’ve seen him go to the Finals six straight years … LeBron is the beacon of consistency, and it’s like, (do we need) nobody to have a great year in order to look at his numbers — 25, 8 and 8, shooting 50 percent, 40 percent from three?
“People have nothing else to talk about so they make stuff up,” he concluded.
James carried the Cavs on Thursday night, scoring 17 of the team’s 24 points in the fourth quarter while Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert were out with injuries. Even Skip Bayless, on Friday’s “Undisputed”, had to tip his hat to the way LeBron dominated.
But as Skip pointed out, LeBron has a huge hole in his MVP résumé, which reared its ugly head again with a couple late misses from the line.