LeBron James on 2018 NBA MVP Race: 'I Definitely Would Vote for Me'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2018

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 27: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against the Miami Heat on March 27, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

LeBron James isn't allowed to vote for NBA MVP. But if he could, he knows who he would cast his ballot for. 

"I would vote for me," James told the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds on Tuesday. "The body of work, how I'm doing it, what's been happening with our team all year long, how we've got so many injuries and things of that nature, guys in and out, to be able to still keep this thing afloat, I definitely would vote me."

The numbers don't lie.

James has been sensational in his 15th NBA season, averaging 27.4 points, a career-high 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three for a Cavaliers team that has traversed its fair share of peaks and valleys this season.

Thanks to that production, James is on track to join Oscar Robertson (five seasons), James Harden (2016-17) and Russell Westbrook (2016-17) as the only players in league history to average 27 points, nine dimes and eight boards.

"At this point in my career, I'm just trying to break the mold, break the narrative of guys in their 15th year. ... I'm trying to do things that have never been done before," James told Reynolds. "It's crazy because I'm not setting out to do it. It's just kind of happening organically. I'm just training my body and training my mind and going out and playing and seeing what happens."

However, the award likely isn't his to lose.

Harden has guided the Houston Rockets (61-14) to the NBA's best record, and he's stuffed the stat sheet. Entering Wednesday night, last year's MVP runner-up is averaging a league-leading 30.7 points, 8.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

According to Basketball Reference's MVP tracker, which uses historical voting results to predict the award's winner, Harden is an overwhelming 72.4 percent favorite to take home the hardware.

James, meanwhile, owns the third-best odds at 5.8 percent. Rockets point guard Chris Paul (7.6 percent) is edging him out for the No. 2 spot.

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