Voting for MVP

As Gary Washburn put it in his Boston Globe column this morning

…this isn’t the Best Player in the Game award, it’s the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what [Carmelo]Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years.

That’s a long time ago.

I have to admit that for some reason I didn’t follow basketball – college or pro – much this past season so I don’t know much about the teams in the playoffs although I know that the Knicks beat the Celtics in the first round.  I also know that I think LeBron James may be a great basketball player, but he has yet to win me over as a human being.  I’m with Cleveland here.

121 votes cast and only one not for LeBron James.   Last night I was listening to the BBC news and even they wanted to know who the voter who didn’t pick James was.  And now we know:  Gary Washburn from the Boston Globe.

Gary Washburn voted for Carmelo Anthony based on his importance to the New York Knicks

Gary Washburn voted for Carmelo Anthony based on his importance to the New York Knicks

Washburn continued

Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times.

LeBron can win the MVP award every year. He is that good. And it’s to the point where I put him on a Michael Jordan scale. Jordan won five MVP awards but could have earned 10. In the 1992-93 season, Jordan averaged 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.8 steals and shot 49.5 percent from the field.

And the MVP award went to Charles Barkley.

So my vote had more to do with Anthony and less to do with the dominance of LeBron. If you were to take Anthony off the Knicks, they are a lottery team. James plays with two other All-Stars, the league’s all-time 3-point leader, a defensive stalwart, and a fearless point guard. The Heat are loaded.

If LeBron was taken away from the Heat, they still would be a fifth or sixth seed. He is the best player of this generation, a multifaceted superstar with the physical prowess of Adonis, but I chose to reward a player who has lifted his team to new heights.

Does James have the other writers so snowed they forgot the meaning of MVP?  Bravo to Gary Washburn!

Photograph:  EPA

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