On Friday (May 19), NBA fans indulged in this season’s MVP finalists. While dissecting the pro-athletes that are up for consideration (Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard), spectators noticed that one person’s name was missing.
Following the Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Boston Celtics (130-86), LeBron James sat down for a postgame conference where he remained candid on the snub. Per ESPN, the three-time champ said his performance only matters to his team.
“And what are you going to do about it at the end of the day?” James questioned. “My only job is to try to be the MVP for this team every night, put my teammates, put our franchise in position to be successful and ultimately compete for a championship. So for me, I know what I bring to the table. This league knows what I bring to the table. That’s for you guys to write about. It’s not for me to be concerned about.”
Although James reportedly said, “I haven’t been fourth in a long time,” his teammate J.R. Smith believes this is fuel to power him through the remaining Eastern Conference semi-finals.
“Just another chip on his shoulder, which helps. He got a vote for [All-NBA] second team,” Smith said. “Somebody’s trippin’, … He’s driven by a completely different monster. He’s not playing for Russ or James. Like he said, he’s chasing a ghost [Michael Jordan]. Right now, that’s the only thing to compare to him.”
This is the first time in nine years that James didn’t make the MVP final bracket, the sports site highlights. Leading the Celtics 2-0, the Cavs hope to inch closer to a sweep when they meet up on home court May 21.