CLEVELAND – Ex-Warriors coach Mark Jackson picked James Harden for Most Valuable Player, and hours before his old team potentially wins the NBA title in Game 6, he supported LeBron James for Finals MVP.
An ESPN broadcaster calling the game for ABC, Jackson indicated on Mike & Mike on Tuesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers star would be his MVP pick even if Warriors won the championship.
“He is the MVP of this series thus far,” Jackson said. “There’s no question about it. When you take a look at what he’s doing, this Warrior team is a superior team. They have great depth, 67 wins, talent and versatility to throw at you. To have a chance to win, LeBron James has got to be spectacular, and he’s been that.
“Up until last game, Andre Iguodala would have been the MVP for the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry exploded, and he’s in the discussion right now for Warriors MVP. But there’s no question in my mind, the MVP of these Finals has been LeBron James, and he would get my vote.
Asked if he would vote for James if Warriors were to win the series in six games, Jackson said: “We are watching an incredible, incredible individual performance that has allowed this team that’s not very talented to have a chance to win it all.”
James has averaged 36.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 45.6 minutes in the series that the Cavaliers trail 3-2.
Curry, who won the MVP in a landslide over Harden, has averaged 26.2 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in 42.4 minutes in the series. Iguodala has helped the Warriors win two Finals games in a row since being inserted in the starting lineup and has been the primary defender on James while averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 37 minutes.
Jackson coached the Warriors to 51 win regular-season wins and a playoff appearance last season before being fired.