For the fourth time in five years LeBron James of the Miami Heat has won the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player Award and with the honer, he joins very select company. In basketball, only Bill Russell has won the same amount of MVPs in that span while Wayne Gretzky accomplished the feat in hockey.
Sadly, the discussion was less about James and more about the one person who did not vote for James and instead voted for New York’s Carmelo Anthony. The writer, from the Boston Globe, made an excellent argument as to why he did so and with his rather candid and well-thought explanation, he opened the entire debate about just what an MVP is.
In the old days, being an MVP meant that this was the one player his team could not do without more so than any other team in their respective league. In essence, would the sports’ best player actually win the MVP or would it go to the player who is more valuable to his respective team?
The writer’s argument was a good one. If I take Carmelo off of the Knicks, just how many wins less would they have versus if I take LeBron off of the Heat, how many fewer wins do they have? It really is a valid argument because when you look at the players on the Knicks as opposed to those on the Heat, we’ll clearly see that Miami has a far more superior amount of talent minus LeBron than the Knicks do minus Carmelo.
Where the problem lies however is in truly understanding just who is the most valuable player? As good of a year as Anthony had in New York, I don’t think you’ll find anyone that would claim he is more valuable than James? Perhaps a change is needed in the awards program if you will. Why not continue to elect a player who is the most valuable to his team but than also select a most outstanding player as well? In using this particular method, I cannot even say Carmelo wins the MVP.
It’s possible players like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker win the award because of just how valuable they are to their teams.
Regardless, nothing can take away the spectacular season Anthony and many others had but much like the guys who played in the Jordan Era, they know what it’s like to be playing against the greatest player in the world.
Indiana at New York (Pacers Lead 1-0) – I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say this really is a ‘must-win’ game for the Knicks. Indiana had one of the best home records in the Eastern Conference and is already 3-0 in the playoffs. I had serious doubts about Mike Woodson’s coaching ability after their game five loss at home to Boston but he did a nice job adjusting for the game six win.
Now the question becomes can Woodson do the same thing and get his Knicks to bounce back from a game one loss to the Pacers? He better or this series will be as good as over. The Pacers are 5.5 point underdogs but I like the Knicks to cover and even the series.
Memphis at Oklahoma City (Thunder Lead 1-0) – You could argue that Memphis gave the Thunder game one by being less than stellar from the free throw line and you’d have good reason to say so. Going 14 of 25 from the line was huge in a two-point loss. The Grizzlies must improve this if they expect to earn a split going home.
Memphis enters as a 2.5 point underdog tonight and I’m fine with that because I like the Griz to win and take home-court back with them to Memphis.