By Craig Kwasniewski
LeBron ONLY got 116 out of 123 first place votes? Such an outrage! This is preposterous, outlandish, unbelievable, atrocious, a crime against all humanity, an insult to us all... how dare they! Don't the know LeBron is the only true MVP this year! Don't they know LeBron was such a dominant force that he should get all the first, second, and third place votes! Don't they know basketball?
OBVIOUSLY personal agendas got in the way of the first unanimous MVP award in NBA history.
Let me get this straight. LeBron was such an obvious choice that any such dissension is influenced by personal agenda and homer-ism. No really, this year was such a clear cut decision that it's blatantly personal. As my wife says in 90% of our arguments, "Don't tell me what I'm thinking!"
(Before we move on, let me be VERY clear, I think LeBron is the MVP this year. So don't write this off as some LeBron hating post by a Lakers fan. Back to the post...)
Let's look at this from the perspective of say a media member in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant worked on his game all last summer, improving his handles and range and entered the 2009-10 season as a player who "made the leap." The Thunder improve from a 26 to 50 wins and make the playoffs. Along the way Durant leads the league in scoring at 30.2 ppg, becoming the youngest player to ever do so. Oklahoma City becomes the hottest team in the NBA from January through late March, following the lead of Durant's exceptional play. Many people (including a Boston-leaning ESPN writer) start buying into the Thunder as a legitimate playoff contender. This all starts and ends with Durant's play, his scoring ability, his poise, his focus, his overall game. It's safe to say Durant took this team to the brink of something special in 2010.
Now you're a media member from Oklahoma City, you see this team change over the course of two seasons, you understand and appreciate all the hard work Durant puts in the offseason, you see his leadership and the impact on the entire roster. These are things the national media might not appreciate. After all he does play in one of the smallest markets so it's not like the Thunder were regulars on ESPN. And unlike Durant, LeBron is on literally every day in highlights, commercials and games. It's easy to see and be influenced by his game... he's everywhere!
I know we all enjoy watching Durant play and being hoops junkies we try to catch as many of his games as possible, but there's still a lot to be said for attending all those Thunder games in person and following him around on a daily basis. You see his impact at practice, in the locker room and on the floor. All the League Pass action and pages of stats still don't quantify the impact of LIVE NBA action. Their media guys have the privilege of seeing a different Durant than the rest of us.
My point... being in Oklahoma City on a daily basis you actually might pick Durant as the MVP this year.
It's a subjective vote, let people be subjective. A lot of well-respected writers come off arrogant and petty when they start going after the six percent of the dissenting vote (yes it's such a low number that it can be written out in verbal form). A lot of them are simply stating this year is "SO OBVIOUS" that anything else is blatantly wrong. No, that's just your point of view. Just because you have the ability to be heard by more people doesn't make it fact. And calling out the few dissenters like some torch wielding angry mob is borderline embarrassing. You guys are better than that!
Finally, people are arguing that LeBron's legacy will be affected by this vote. Not even! His legacy will be cemented in NBA championships not MVP's. Just ask yourself how many titles Magic has or Bird or even MJ. Now ask yourself how many MVP's for each player. I'll be honest, I had to look up the MVP awards to check. Titles not MVP's...