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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dwight Howard’s MVP List: Kevin Durant and Amare Stoudemire Above LeBron

Whether it’s because he plays in Orlando or because he’s a center, it does not seem like Magic center Dwight Howard gets the respect he deserves when it comes to the debate of the best players in the NBA. He has Shaq badgering him about the Superman nickname and then there supposedly is a Magic player who said the team was better without Dwight. Even if that’s just the perception, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy has turned the question into reality by openly vouching for Dwight’s MVP candidacy on numerous occasions. At the same time, Van Gundy said LeBron will win MVP as long as he’s around. Apparently that line of thinking got into the head of Howard because he didn’t even have LeBron in his top two spots for NBA MVP. Here’s what Howard said during a Tuesday interview on PTI:

Howard: “If I had a chance to vote, it would be out of two people. Kevin Durant, what he’s done in Oklahoma City, with the way he’s got those guys to winning 50 games this year, I think he should be at the top for MVP. And also Amare, I think the second half of the season he’s been playing great. He’s been scoring a lot of points, he’s been rebounding, blocking shots — he’s been all over the place. I think those two guys would be at the top of my list if I had to choose.”

Kornheiser: “Do I hear you throwing a little chin music at LeBron by saying that?”

Howard: “No, no, no. You asked me my opinion, I love LeBron, I have nothing against him. He’s been playing great this year. Out of Amare, Kevin Durant and LeBron, those guys have been playing great basketball. Either one of those guys would have my vote.”

While I must respectfully disagree with both Howard and Van Gundy by saying that LeBron deserves this year’s MVP and that Dwight has an excellent shot at winning MVP in the future, I understand his mentality. Howard’s upset that the NBA and Nike hypes up the Kobe/LeBron matchup while the Magic get left behind. He knows a ferocious battle between his Magic and the Cavs is looming. Why give the Cavs or LeBron any credit going into their potential series? I think this is Dwight’s more subtle way of saying LeBron and the Cavs are the enemy and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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