Houston guard James Harden won his first MVP award on Monday after a season-long race for the title against LeBron James. However, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, a former teammate of James, believes that the King was robbed of his fifth title.
"MVP, it's hard to gauge nowadays. Because now you have the people's MVP and you have, like, the NBA's MVP," Irving said in an interview on radio station Hot 97 in New York on Wednesday. "I think the people's MVP was definitely James [Harden], but the NBA MVP is definitely LeBron [James]."
Irving pointed to a comparison of the pair's statistics, in which James outperformed Harden in every category. The four-time MVP played 10 more regular season games, scored 60 more points, snagged 320 more rebounds, made 117 more assists and shot almost 10 percent more accurately than Harden.
"If we're talking strictly based off stats, like, he checks every mark," Irving said. "He's incredible, he's incredible."
Harden been a runner-up twice in the past. This season, he led the league with a 30.4 point average and lifting the Rockets to a franchise-best 65 wins, many felt it was time that he earned his dues.
James averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds and played in every single regular season game for the first time in his career. James has not won the award since his back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 following his NBA titles with the Miami Heat.