CJ McCollum Says He'd Pick LeBron James as 2020 NBA MVP on 'The Boardroom'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - DECEMBER 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers greets CJ McCollum #3 of the Portland Trail Blazers before the game at Moda Center on December 06, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. 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. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum said he'd select Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James to win the Most Valuable Player Award of the 2019-20 NBA season.

McCollum discussed his MVP choice on The Boardroom with ESPN's Jay Williams:

James was attempting to chase down the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the award's reigning winner, in what had become a two-player race for this year's top individual honor before the campaign was delayed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Antetokounmpo was the front-runner for most of the season, but James was surging. He tallied a combined 65 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds in victories over the Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, the league's other top title contenders, in back-to-back games just before the season's suspension.

The Lakers superstar, who's won the MVP Award four times, told reporters in March his goals extend far beyond winning the trophy for a fifth time:

"To be the best to ever play the game has motivated me and has resulted in me being able to be league MVP a couple times. But I've never gone into the season saying, 'OK, league MVP is what I want to be.' I've gone into the season saying, 'OK, I want to be the MVP of this team. I want to be the best player in the world,' and how I approach my game every day, how I take care of my body every day has resulted in that [award]."

Here are the contenders' numbers:

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  • James: 25.7 PPG, 10.6 APG, 7.9 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 49.8 FG%
  • Giannis: 29.6 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 5.8 APG. 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 54.7 FG%

Ultimately, both players are enjoying tremendous seasons and both are worthy of MVP honors, which will give the voters a difficult decision if and when the campaign eventually concludes.

It wouldn't be a surprise if James' Lakers and Antetokounmpo's Bucks meet in the NBA Finals, a matchup that could carry more meaning for both of them than the MVP Award.

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