My Pick for NBA MVP
Race intensifies as season winds down
Originally Aired: Tuesday, March 31, 2009. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
Three candidates have emerged as the clear favorites to bring home the MVP hardware in the NBA. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Kobe Bryant have emerged as the clear options ahead of everyone else in the race for MVP.
It seems like the national media has really been putting itself in the D-Wade camp, which makes sense because he is the most exciting of the three from a pure audience enjoyment standpoint. Wade is a more fluid player than LeBron in that he handles the ball a bit better and is more of a pure scorer. Kobe is probably the best defender of the three, but LeBron is making a case for himself defensively this season and is expected to be named to the All-Defensive Team. Kobe is the ultimate clutch player, never afraid to take (and usually make) the shot when the game is on the line. He also plays on the team with the second best record in the league, and team success always comes into play when voters are making the decision for MVP, whether you agree with it or not. That rules out Wade.
But the player who emerges in my eyes as the best choice for league MVP is King James. Itís not just that Iím a Cavs fan, but LeBron has become so dominant in every facet of the game besides outside shooting that I canít justify him not winning the award. The Cavs are 60-13, good for the best record in the NBA. LeBron is the consummate teammate, making his teammates better by drawing the other teamís attention, and by making unbelievable passes and racking up assists. The well-roundedness of his game is clear. Heís the second leading scorer in the league but still manages over 7 boards and 7 helpers per contest. ESPNís basketball analyst John Hollinger surmises that LeBron would average a triple double if he played in the much faster-paced NBA of the Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robinson era. Alas, 28, 7 and 7 is not too shabby.
LeBron has only gotten better as the season has gone on, and would have won this award last season if not for the votersí trend for choosing players who are on one of the top four or five teams in the league. Now the tables have turned, as the Cavs are emerging as the team to beat as the playoffs near. King James is at the epicenter of Clevelandís success, and should be rewarded as such with the first of what promises to be many future MVP trophies.