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#pounditFriday, June 14, 2024

Kevin Love: Russell Westbrook should be MVP over LeBron James

LeBron James Kevin Love

Kevin Love has had a first-hand look this year at what LeBron James is capable of, and he does not think it stacks up equally to what Russell Westbrook has done with the Oklahoma City Thunder — at least this season.

During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Monday, Love was asked if he thought LeBron or Westbrook was more deserving of the NBA’s MVP Award at the moment. While Love was certainly complimentary of his Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, he gave the nod to his former UCLA teammate.

“I would just say because of time spent on the court, you know ‘Bron took those few games off and those couple of weeks off,” Love said, per ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin. “They’re both having MVP-type seasons, but I’m going to go with Russell Westbrook because every single night you’re looking at his stat sheet, they’re fighting for a playoff spot even with Serge Ibaka going down now, Kevin Durant potentially being out the rest of the year and [Westbrook] still going out there and really fighting for his team and them winning and fighting for that seventh and eighth spot in the playoffs,” Love told Patrick. “I think Russ is arguably having the better season.”

This, of course, is a big deal — big enough that you knew reporters were going to ask LeBron for his thought’s on Love’s opinion.

“I don’t really think too much of it, really,” James said after practice on Tuesday. “I don’t really get involved in that. I think the voters are going to decide who is the MVP. I think what Russ has been doing, his numbers have been pretty crazy keeping those guys afloat in the West in his play. Steph Curry can make a case, for sure, what he’s been doing — James Harden and myself, as well. So, Kevin has his own opinion of who he believes is the MVP. No one should fault him for that.”

As McMenamin notes, Westbrook has missed 15 games this season due to injury. LeBron has missed 11. Still, there’s no arguing that Westbrook’s play has been incredible as the Thunder continue to cling to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with Durant shut down indefinitely.

LeBron is averaging 25.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Westbrook has averaged 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists and has become a triple-double machine. I tend to agree with Love’s selection. But as we saw with the comments Love made about his relationship with LeBron earlier this week, nothing with these two is a small deal to the media.

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