LeBron James knows his history, so he knows that winning his fifth MVP would tie him with Michael Jordan — and put his name in the conversation about greatest player of all time.
The King is having a tremendous season, averaging 25 points, 7.6 rebounds and 9 assists, and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 17-5. But the competition for MVP is crazy, and the strongest isn’t even coming from the Golden State Warriors and their trio of stars, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
James Harden is averaging 28.1 points, 11.6 assists and 7.6 rebounds and has the Houston Rockets on pace for 59 wins. Then there’s Russell Westbrook, who’s trying to become just the second player in history to average a triple-double and has the Oklahoma City Thunder on pace to win 51 games — just four fewer than they won last season with Durant.
Skip Bayless and FS1’s Chris Broussard would cast their vote for Westbrook, but Shannon Sharpe made his case for the King on Tuesday on “Undisputed”, arguing that LeBron’s line is more impressive because he’s doing it while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love both are having super seasons, too, and the Cavs are winning more games than the Thunder and Rockets.
However, Broussard’s not buying it.
“Who you play with matters in the voting,” Broussard said. “LeBron’s benefited from that. When he won 66 games in Cleveland and 61 games in Cleveland and he won those two MVP awards, a lot of it was people saying ‘He’s playing with Mo Williams as his second-best player and Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic’ and so on and so on. Look at who Westbrook’s playing with…”
“He doesn’t even have, I don’t think, a future All-Star; like a potential All-Star,” Broussard added. “And same with Harden.”