Daily Gossip, Saturday 4/4/15

Photo: http://www.sfgate.com
Photo: http://www.sfgate.com
Photo: http://www.sfgate.com

As the NBA regular season nears a conclusion, Playoff spots and Divisional titles are being decided left, right and centre, the race to the prestigious MVP award is also heating up.

Steph Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the three highlighted contenders with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving playing the background but who would you give it to? Former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson has his opinion.

JACKSON SNUBS CURRY, THINKS HARDEN FOR MVP

Despite coaching Steph Curry, ex-Warriors coach believes that James Harden is this season’s NBA regular season MVP, which has surprised many people.

Via ESPN:

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has become a popular name when it comes to the MVP debate, but to Curry’s surprise his former coach isn’t part of that chorus. 

ESPN analyst and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Wednesday on the “Dan Patrick Show” that while Curry, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, are all worthy candidates, he’d give his MVP vote to James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

“If you twisted my arm today, I would probably vote for James Harden,” Jackson said. “The reason why is because he single-handedly has put that Houston Rockets team in the position that they’re in today.” 

The comments come as a stark contrast to the way Jackson had previously championed his former charge as a superstar in the league, while he was coach of the Warriors. 

When asked Friday about his former coach’s comments, Curry said he was a bit surprised. 

“It’s his opinion obviously,” Curry said. “He’s probably been watching the league. People are going to ask what he thinks, especially his ties to the Warriors organization and myself specifically. Surprised me he said that. But, it is what it is.”

TREY BURKE CONFIDENT ABOUT NEXT SEASON

Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke feels that his side are among the better up and coming teams in the NBA and that they will return to the Playoffs again and possibly even the heady heights of the Jazz teams from the late-90s when they were the main contenders to the Chicago Bulls’ throne.

Via Basketball Insiders:

“The West is brutal, but we definitely think we can [make the playoffs],” Burke said confidently and without hesitation. “We’ve beaten a lot of the top teams in the NBA. At the same time, we’ve lost a lot of games as well, but we know we can beat pretty much anyone with the team we have and the talent we have. Next year, we’ll have Alec Burks coming back and we’ll be [at full strength]. We think it will be a great year for us. We think [we’re the NBA’s best up-and-coming team],” Burke said. “If we’re not the best, then we’re one of the best. We’ve won a lot of really good games, games that we were underdogs in, and that’s been big for our confidence. We do think we’re one of the best teams with a young roster in the NBA right now.”