J.R. Smith says that LeBron James is the real NBA MVP this season
Smith made his case for James after Cleveland beat the Detroit Pistons 109-97 on Monday.
"Who? The real MVP?" Smith said, according to ESPN.com. "There's a lot of speculation about who should get the award, but we all know who the real MVP is."
James had 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, his 39th career regular season triple-double. He is averaging 25.3 points, 7.4 assists and six rebounds this season.
"In actuality, if you really wanted to, you could give it to him every year," Smith said. "I mean, the numbers, what he does for teams."
Smith said the proof of James’ MVP season is that he left Miami for Cleveland last offseason after leading the Heat to four straight NBA Finals appearances and two championships, and that the Heat have been all but eliminated from this season's playoff race.
Cleveland won only 33 games in the 2013-14 season without James and have 52 wins this season.
"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,” Smith said.
- Scooby Axson