Cleveland Cavaliers star JR Smith has insisted that teammate LeBron James is the real NBA MVP this season despite the fact that he will miss out on the award.
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James posted a triple-double in the win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, and Smith proceeded to ask the crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena who the real MVP was this season.
The former New York Knicks star added that there was a lot of speculation about who will win the award, but “we all know who the real MVP is”, according to ESPN.
Despite putting up 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, it wasn’t just the one performance that ensured Smith made his decision for the MVP winner, as he believes that James can essentially win it every year considering his numbers and influence on his team.
“In actuality, if you really wanted to, you could give it to him every year,” he added.
“Not to knock anything from the other two guys [Stephen Curry and James Harden]. They’re having great years, career years for both of them, but if you want to be realistic about it, you could give it to him every time.”
The 30-year-old has already won the award four times in 11 years, and Smith argued that the impact seen in both Miami and Cleveland should make it five as the Heat continue to struggle to make the playoffs without James while the Cavs have been turned into a 52-win team.
It is unlikely that LeBron has done enough to deny either Curry or Harden the award as they are widely considered the two frontrunners, coupled with the fact that he missed a fortnight earlier in the season while his rivals continued to show their consistency through the year, it would be difficult to see him winning it this time round.