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Kobe Bryant picks James Harden over LeBron James as NBA MVP

Kobe Bryant, James Harden, LeBron James

Kobe Bryant had no problems picking a winner for this season’s Most Valuable Player award, immediately pointing at Houston Rockets guard James Harden as the definite nod for the coveted accolade.

“I think what James has done from Game 1 all the way through Game 82 deserves to be rewarded,” said Bryant as a guest in ESPN’s Get Up!. “I just don’t know what there’s left for him to do.”

Bryant noted Harden has been knocking at the door for four straight years now, losing a narrow battle to Russell Westbrook’s triple-double mirage last season and to Stephen Curry in 2014-15. Yet Harden has pulled it all together and left no room for excuses — leading the NBA in scoring and posting the NBA’s best record — capturing dazzling numbers and winning to make it a no-brainer decision.

Jalen Rose had a tough time picking between Harden and LeBron James, and while The King has had an unreal 15th season, Harden’s collective efforts have simply translated into wins more effectively than James, delivering plenty of amazing performances throughout the season.

Bryant won his first MVP in 2008, before Harden even burst into the league, notching two Finals MVP awards in consequent seasons, as well as four All-Star MVP awards during his 20-year NBA career.