Former NBA champion turned analyst Kendrick Perkins has made one thing clear — he believes Los Angeles Lakers star and his former teammate LeBron James deserves the MVP this season. However, in his argument backing James for the NBA’s top honor, he threw the Lakers other star, Anthony Davis, right under the bus.
“Anthony Davis never really held his own. Anthony Davis is a certified Robin,” Perkins said on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday. “That’s his role right now. I understand now he’s a top five player because the game is a lot more easy for him. He’s not seeing double teams on the offensive end and he’s actually able to play one-on-one because of the greatness of LeBron James and his passing ability with him moving to the point guard.”
Kendrick Perkins says being teammates with AD shouldn’t hurt LeBron’s MVP chances:
"Anthony Davis never really held his own. Anthony Davis is a certified robin…Now he’s a top 5 player because the game is a lot more easy for him."
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 21, 2020
Davis is the former No. 1 overall pick in 2012 and it’d be hard to label him a full-time sidekick considering his production this year and in year’s past. He’s a seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection (including three first-team honors) and has established himself as one of the top players in the league. Picking the top five players is always subject to personal preference, but Davis is and has been in the conversation for some time.
Davis has thrived during his first season in the purple and gold, averaging 26.2 points per game along with 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He is also a Defensive Player of the Year candidate with 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.
LeBron James Pulls Himself Into MVP Conversation
James is in his 17th NBA season, but sure hasn’t looked like it. At the time of the stoppage, James was averaging 34.9 minutes per games, 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a league-leading 10.6 assists, pulling himself into the MVP conversation, although he’s still a long shot behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The award would be James’ fifth MVP, but first since 2013. He won the award in 2009, ’10, ’12 and ’13. Here are the full odds for MVP, per Odds Shark, which has Antetokounmpo as a huge favorite.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo -3500
- LeBron James +650
- James Harden +5000
- Luka Doncic +5000
- Anthony Davis +8000
- Damian Lillard +8000
- Nikola Jokic +8000
- Kawhi Leonard +10000
- Russell Westbrook +10000
LeBron James Led Lakers to Top of Western Conference
James has heard all the noise, especially with all the down time in the bubble. He spoke of his MVP candidacy with reporters on Monday.
“As far as the MVP race, I’ve shown what I’m capable of doing, not only individually but from a team perspective. There was a lot of conversation about, ‘LeBron can do those things in the East, but if he ever came to the West, what can he do?’ I heard all of that,” James said. “To be able to have our team at the top of the Western Conference and playing the way that we were playing at that time and the way I was playing, that’s definitely a good feeling.”
Perkins used similar reasoning when backing LeBron for the MVP.
“When LeBron James was dominating the Eastern Conference, the whole narrative was that he was in the weak East,” Perkins said. “But now he’s in the Western Conference and they are No. 1 in the West. I think that deserves a round of applause and that should have a play in the MVP.
.@KendrickPerkins states the case for LeBron as MVP.
"If I take Giannis off the Bucks, guess what, the Bucks are still in the playoff hunt. If I take LeBron off the Lakers, I don't know where the Lakers would be." pic.twitter.com/UyraWDYfz6
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 20, 2020
“If I take Giannis off the Bucks, guess what, the Bucks are still in the playoff hunt. If I take LeBron off the Lakers, I don’t know where the Lakers would be.”