Kobe Bryant: James Harden deserves to be named MVP
Kobe Bryant has made his pick for NBA MVP for the 2017-2018 season, and LeBron James is not going to agree with it.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” Tuesday morning, Bryant said he feels Harden deserves the nod over LeBron this year.
— Get Up (@Get_Up) April 17, 2018
“I think James has done so much all season long,” Bryant said. “For the last two years he has been playing phenomenally well. Had it not been for (Russell) Westbrook’s historical run last year, he certainly would have won MVP last year…
“What James has done from Game 1 all the way through Game 82 deserves to be rewarded. This guy’s worked his butt off for an entire season and has gotten his team to the place they are now. I just don’t know what there’s left for him to do.”
The main arguments against Harden would be that his game is a bit more one-dimensional than LeBron’s, as we all know the way he has been mocked in recent years for his play defensively. He also missed 10 games (nine due to injury), whereas James played in all 82 games. Harden also has a better supporting cast than LeBron, though the Rockets got off to a tremendous start thanks to him even while Chris Paul missed extended time.
LeBron had one of the best seasons of his career this year, averaging 27.5 points, setting a career high with 9.1 assists and tying his best mark with 8.6 rebounds per game. He’s seemingly getting better with age, but Harden has been equally impressive since Mike D’Antoni took over in Houston and moved him to point guard. It’s hard to argue that 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game aren’t worthy of the MVP award.
If you want to know how LeBron feels about the MVP voting, just ask him. However, plenty of people agree with Kobe that Harden’s time has come. Will it be enough for the Rockets star to take home the hardware? Time will tell.