A competition typically ends when somebody concedes, which means you might as well gift-wrap the MVP award for Derrick Rose.
"I think [it's] Derrick Rose," James said Wednesday. "What he's done for that team, with all the injuries they have and them being first in the Eastern Conference -- they're playing some really good basketball."
Note the semantics -- James believes Rose is the top contender, not that he thinks Rose "should" win.
But it's the latest positive statement of many that helps Rose's candidacy for the award. A few weeks ago, James' own Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Juwan Howard endorsed Rose for MVP. And more recently, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy -- who has his own MVP candidate in Dwight Howard -- said Rose should get the award.
Rose characterically downplayed James' comments, saying he's focused on winning games and telling ESPN that "it means a lot, especially coming from a player like him, that won it two years in a row and could win it every year."
Rose is putting up 25 points, 7.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds this season leading the Bulls to the best record in the East. James is averaging 6.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists for the Heat.