Former NBA Champion Feels LeBron James and James Harden Should Be Treated Equally in MVP Bid

Published 03/31/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Feb 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (left) and Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden share a laugh before their game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers struggled without Anthony Davis. But they have played a lot worse since LeBron James joined him on the sidelines with an ankle injury. So the potential weeks of absence plus the Lakers’ plummeting form have ended LeBron’s MVP campaign.

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But former NBA champion Nick Young feels LeBron still is an MVP candidate. So far in 41 games, LeBron has averaged 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. Those are terrific numbers. So Young feels that if James Harden’s time with the Houston Rockets in 2020-21 can get excused and he’s still an MVP favorite, LeBron should have the same treatment.

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Young has previously also expressed his feelings about LeBron and how he should be MVP. When the Lakers went on a four-game losing streak without him, he tweeted that this decline in form for the team shows that LeBron is the real MVP.

Although they’ve never been teammates before, the former Lakers forward is a staunch supporter of LeBron.

Is Young right while comparing James Harden and LeBron James’ campaigns?

Young feels that LeBron shouldn’t be subject to unfair double standards. He may have missed just six games so far, however, he’s going to miss three to five weeks more. That could easily add up to 20+ games missed, and no one has won MVP while missing that many games in regular season.

His comparison to Harden’s time in Houston also doesn’t make sense. The Beard played just eight games for the Rockets this season. And even though the team struggled, Harden still averaged 24.8 points and 10.4 assists per game in those games. So this comparison or accusation of double standards makes little sense.

Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball ahead of James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during the second quarter of a game at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

If LeBron was still playing or was only going to miss 10 games at most, then he could have still been a front runner. However, his prolonged absence will hurt his case and more importantly, hurt the team record too.

Will an MVP snub lead to another championship this time?

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Last season LeBron felt he should have won MVP. While many may argue Giannis Antetokounmpo had the better stats, he was convinced he should have won it. And so he used this frustration to channel his classic ‘Playoff LeBron’ performances, and he led the Lakers to the 2020 NBA title.

If he gets snubbed of the MVP for a successive season, teams will fear facing LeBron in the playoffs. He will be eager to prove that age is only a number for him and bring back-to-back titles in LA.

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Aaron Mathew

1553 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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