CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - LeBron James knows all about value to a franchise. He can define it better than anyone -- anyone not named Dan Gilbert, that is. LeBron's value to the Cavaliers and the city off the court is greater than any other player-franchise-city in the NBA.
And on the court, it's tough to argue he doesn't top the list as well. Without LeBron, there is no Big 3 in Cleveland. Kevin Love never comes here. And the Cavaliers certainly aren't as dominant at either end of the court.
I bring this up because LeBron had a very interesting and honest answer to the MVP question on Wednesday. While he took the opportunity to both praise and congratulate Steph Curry for the first time (LeBron has shut down social media during the playoffs), James also went deeper into the definition of an MVP.
"I think there's a lot of valuable guys in our league that has value to their team," LeBron told reporters following practice. "I don't know how they (voters) defined it, sometimes the words 'most valuable' and 'best player of the year,' you can have different results."
No question. If you go simply by the numbers, Curry runs away with it, throwing down 30 points per game, 402 3-pointers, and leading the Warriors to an NBA-record 73 wins. How good would the Warriors be without him? Certainly not a 70-win team, but doubtful a lottery team, too. Without LeBron, and therefore Love, the Cavs were a lottery team. Kyrie had already become an All-Star, and would be leading the way, but the Cavaliers wouldn't be close to the instant title contender that LeBron made them.
James is a four-time league MVP. He certainly wasn't lobbying for a fifth one on Wednesday. But he made a great point.
"That's not taking away from anyone who's ever won the award," James said. "When you talk about ,most valuable,' then you can have a different conversation."
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