Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has conceded that LeBron James isn’t getting MVP recognition this season, but that hasn’t prevented him from being their MVP.
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The 30-year-old is highly unlikely to receive the award this year with the likes of Stephen Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook leading the race, but ‘the King’ has still produced an impressive year of numbers.
James missed eight games at the start of the calendar year as he rested knee and back issues, with the Cavs going 1-7 in his absence. However, since his return, the team has pulled together for the most part and have moved up to second spot in the Eastern Conference with a 47-27 record.
As a result, Blatt believes that James has been as valuable as ever to his team, and praised him for his efforts despite the fact that he is unlikely to be rewarded with another individual accolade from the league at the end of the year.
“Listen, there’s a lot of talk about this I know, externally,” Blatt said, Pro Basketball Talk reports.
“And it’s good, because it generates interest and buzz. But LeBron James is the best player in our league in my opinion, and probably in the opinion of many, if not most. And LeBron James is our MVP. Now how that translates outwardly, to other people and places, that’s not in our control. But I can tell you that he’s led this team and since he’s come back from his injury issues, he’s just been fabulous.”
Curry is still regarded as the favourite by many experts given that he has remained consistently brilliant throughout the year and has guided the Golden State Warriors to the top of the Western Conference with the best record in the league.
However, Harden has carried the Houston Rockets in the absence of Dwight Howard while Westbrook has developed into a triple-double machine without Kevin Durant for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While James remains a vital part of his team, it hasn’t been quite enough to surpass the efforts of his rivals in the West.