Chris Broussard on NBA MVP: LeBron is a far second and shouldn’t be in the consideration

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Chris Broussard discusses the NBA MVP race with Greg Jennings, Rob Parker and Holly Sonders. Chris makes a strong argument why Houston Rockets' James Harden is currently the MVP favorite and Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is a far second and shouldn't be in the consideration.

- LeBron, he's not in the MVP discussion because there isn't a discussion. It's James Harden by a mile, a mile. Like, who else? Steph Curry missed 15 games, and they're struggling a little bit. Kevin Durant playing well, but is he even the MVP of his own team? I mean, and they're struggling. LeBron could be second, but it is a distant second. James Harden would have to fall off the cliff, so to speak, for LeBron or anybody else to win it. Or he'd have to get hurt and be out for several weeks. Because look, we know they have the best record in the league. I said yesterday or two days ago, "They are the most efficient office in NBA history." And as great as Chris Paul is and has been for them, he's missed 18 games.

- And they're still good.

- Yes, you talked about the supporting cast. Man, I can make a strong argument that LeBron's got just as good, if not as-- especially last year. Last year, LeBron had a better supporting cast than James Harden, since you brought last year up. Now with Chris Paul, of course you've got a Chris Paul, but the Cavs have a great supporting cast too. And a lot of times supporting casts takes your numbers down. But Harden is the engine in Houston, leading the league in scoring, second in assists, higher PER than LeBron. Like, there's no discussion.

And if I had to vote today, it's possible LeBron James might be second. In But by default, I mean now I got to put Russell Westbrook in the race, I have to put Giannis Antetokounmpo in the race. Usually, you're not putting guys whose teams aren't winning in the race, but it's just a strange year. It's Harden by a mile. LeBron, I expect him to play terrifically here on out, but the MVP race is sewn up for Harden if everything remains as it is. Even if LeBron averages 35 points, let me say this. Let me say this. If LeBron James averages 35 points and they win at a 90% clip--

- Then you've got to get the--

- No, I don't. If he does that the rest of the way and Harden just continues to play as he has has, Harden's still got it. Because he's the MVP of this season. It's not the MVP of the last third of the season, not post all-star break, MVP from November to April.

- I think you've just erased your entire case.

- How?

- Because--

- Because Harden's been better all year.

- If LeBron does that and he was struggling, as we say, "He was just garbage in January," and then he acquired these guys who didn't make the team better, who does not make the team better, and he does what you just said 35, and they win a 90% clip? He just turned around their whole season.

- Yeah, but it's a whole year.

- I get that.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: I can't discount to Rajon's point, I can't discount January.

- No I'm not saying you can't, but what? His January was that bad?

- Yeah it was that bad.

- 23-7-7.

- No, Harden's entire season has been that good. Look, if you want me to write where LeBron's the MVP of the last third of the season, I'll do it. He can be MVP of the last third of the season. Whole season, James Harden.

- This is where my young ears really hear better than these senior citizens.

- Oh wow.

- So can you please repeat the question for me?

- Sure.

- Just repeat the question, or I'll repeat it for you. Does LeBron's still deserve any MVP consideration?

- No.

- So we're not talking about--

- Everybody deserves MVP. I mean, seriously. There's nobody else being considered right now than James Harden.

GREG JENNINGS: Let me tell how much of an MVP consideration I think LeBron deserves. Let me help you out a lot. Let's go do it, LeBron.

- I saw those this morning.

- Let's go do it LeBron.

- You and Shannon see exactly.

- Shannon, the only thing I don't have is the [INAUDIBLE]. That's the only thing I don't have.

- Is he your MVP right now?

- I'll ride with LeBron anywhere we go.

- But I love LeBron too, but is he--

- James Harden is the MVP right now at this point, at this present point at the break. Absolutely.

- OK, And if James Harden continues to do 30 points, nine assists, they continue to win it out.

- It's not close right now because James Harden has been that great, absolutely. And he's been consistent.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: And LeBron had a bad month, and his team's not playing well.

GREG JENNINGS: In LeBron's standards, yes. He could have-- so we have to add that.

- By his standards.

- But we know that. We're always going to judge him, he's the best player on the planet. So when he has a bad month, it's noticeable. That doesn't mean he can't play anymore. He had a bad month, he took a month off, that's all. And that's why he's disqualified.

- Look, I said, he might be second, but it's a wide gap between two first and second.

GREG JENNINGS: He took a month off. He doesn't sit, he doesn't miss games, he's just a durable guy that plays about 40 minutes a night.

- He just stands around a lot.

- Let me ask you, this if Harding continues to do what he's done, and just keeps doing what he's done, Rockets keep winning, is there anything LeBron can do to be MVP?

- I think there's definitely something LeBron can do. There's always something. Did you see? Did you miss?

- We saw them.

- The socks ain't going to win him the MVP.

- Did you miss this?

- No, I see. And they're nice too, I like them.

- You see where I'm at.

- I need some of those. - You see where I'm at. Bottom line. If LeBron turns this Cleveland Cavaliers team around, and they do what you're talking about and he averages 35 points, or not even 35 points,


- Exactly, that's asking a lot, and they and they went at a 90% clip from here on out, which they can do, I think you now have to consider LeBron James even stronger as an MVP candidate.

- But would you put him ahead-- See, this is the thing, you mention LeBron's standard is so high that we overlook how great it is, and there's some truth to that. Harden is doing that this year. Harden is just steady. When Harden averages 30-9 in March, nobody's going to say anything because that's what he does. Nobody's going to get, "Oh, James Harden was great. He was tremendous this year." That's what he does, he set the standard. Now, if LeBron averages 30-9 in March, and they win like Houston wins every month, people are going to jump and say, "He's not going to be the MVP."

- It's not that I'm not a James Harden fan. I mean, he stays behind the three point line, that's where he gets about 25 of those points.

- Hey, if you can do it.