Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving offered his two cents on the 2018 NBA MVP award, which was won by Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden.
Harden was named MVP in a landslide vote, receiving 86 of the 101 first-place votes. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who finished in second place, received the remaining 15.
While Irving is taking nothing away from Harden's stellar season, he believes there are two ways to look at the award.
"MVP, it's hard to gauge nowadays," Irving said on Hot 97 New York. "Because now you have the people's MVP and you have, like, the NBA's MVP. I think the people's MVP was definitely James, but the NBA MVP is definitely LeBron. If we're talking strictly based off stats, like, LeBron checks every mark. He's incredible."
Irving, of course, requested a trade from the Cavs last summer to escape the shadow of James. Although Irving and James were one of the best dynamic duos this league has ever seen during their time together, Irving wanted to branch out and embark on a new challenge.
The Cavs reached the NBA Finals in all three seasons Irving and James were teammates, winning it all in 2016.
During the regular season, Harden averaged 30.4 points (No. 1 in the NBA), 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists, shooting 44.9 percent from the floor and 36.7 percent from three. He recorded 31 double-doubles, four triple-doubles and led the Rockets to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
James, meanwhile, put up 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists, while registering 52 double-doubles and 18 triple-doubles.
The Cavs were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals for the second consecutive year.