Wow, I didn’t realize ALL of the perks that come my way now that I am a member of the media, but I guess since I’m here I might as well take in all the benefits… And that’s right, one of those benefits of being in the media? CASTING A BALLOT FOR NBA MVP!!!
So what will MY criteria be for this illustrious award?
Well, pretty simple – my vote will be based on the word “valuable” which the way people vote for this award seems to get forgotten.
In my mind there are about five candidates: LeBron, Kawhi, Russ, Harden and IT. Here’s where it gets pretty goddamn interesting – because remember, I’m talking VALUE.
Value to me would be the guy who without him, his team would suffer… Duh right? Because that guy is the most VALUABLE to his team. If it was straight up Most Outstanding Player, we’d be having a different conversation.
So value… Without LeBron, the Cavs still make the playoffs. Kyrie alone could figure it out and with the help of Love, he’d be fine. Don’t get me wrong, LeBron is the guy I’d go to if you gave me one year to win and I could pick anyone, it’s going to be him… But again, that’s not my criteria. So LeBron is not the MVP for me.
Then there are guys like Kawhi, with similar situations. He has Aldridge, the corpses of Parker & Ginobli, Pau Gasol, etc. Remove him, yes the team would suffer – but would they make the playoffs? Probably. Kawhi again is maybe the second most OUTSTANDING player in my mind, but he’s not the most valuable to his team because the team is made up of some nice parts. Weird how that hurts people.
Then we have Isaiah Thomas – the pride of Boston. If you remove IT from the C’s, that team is pretty shitty. I don’t know if I want to say they don’t make the playoffs, but they’d be significantly worse. They’d be like the Atlanta Hawks of the past 6 years or so (with Horford so the shoe fits pretty well!). but his numbers are nothing like the rest of this class and so despite his value being sky high to his team (definitely near the top of this list), he won’t get my vote.
Next on my list we got Harden. Value-wise, yeah, without him the Rockets would be ass. But he seems to have a better supporting cast than the Russ’s of this list, so his value isn’t AS high there, but he is important as shit to this Houston team. His stats prove his value as well and I cannot believe I am saying this, but he was probably my #2 for this vote.
And lastly, we got
Superman Russell Westbrook. Without him, his team is a lottery team… In fact, they’d be arguably the worst team in the league the way they played without him these playoffs. So his value to me is off the charts. Nobody’s team needed them more than the Thunder did Westbrook. He does use the ball A LOT and at the end of games he plays hero ball a ton (reminds me too much of Melo) but then again, you need to do what your team needs to do to win, right? And he brought his team to the playoffs! Then you have the stats he put up and though that has NOTHING to do with my vote – it is a really nice kicker for all those looking for it.
So what do you think Russ?
I figured. My vote means a lot. You’re welcome.
Member of the Media,