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NBA

Out Of 121 People, Only A Boston Sportswriter Voted For Someone Other Than LeBron James For MVP


If 121 people vote on something, and 120 vote the same way, what can we say about that one dissenter? Maybe he’s crazy; maybe he has an ax to grind; maybe he just felt like being difficult. But according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, he really, truly felt that Carmelo Anthony was a more valuable player this year than LeBron “Four MVPs” James. He even wrote an article defending himself.

When news first broke that LeBron had missed becoming the league’s first unanimous MVP by one vote, the King was quoted as saying: “It’s probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me the vote… I know the history between the Heat and the Knicks. So I get it.” Turns out, it’s actually a Boston guy. But this Boston guy didn’t vote for Kevin Durant, or even Kevin Garnett — he chose the NBA’s leading scorer because without him, the Knicks would be garbage.

From his article in today’s paper:

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.

It’s an interesting take, if flawed. As the BI Sports Page points out, by using this logic, LeBron is still worth more to his team in terms of wins than Carmelo. No matter which way you slice it (except for average points per game), LeBron seems to have bested his New York counterpart in every way.

But in the end, it was Washburn’s vote, and he is allowed to use whichever form of logic he chooses to make a decision. And years from now, it’s unlikely that LeBron will be sitting on his porch, drinking iced tea, and wondering how his life might have turned out if only he had convinced one dude from Boston to like him a little bit more. Because 120/121 still makes you the MVP, and that’s a pretty good ratio besides.

Photo via Getty


  • Sean

    And your 2nd to last sentence says it all and is more proof that the NBA is a popularity contest and should change the names of their awards. Do you think the Thunder would make it to the 2nd round without Durant? Or the Pacers without Paul George? or Houston making the playoffs without Harden? No Way!! It is and has been since the ’90′s the Most Popular Player.

  • Anon

    I disagree, respectfully. It’s turned into a contest of “best” player rather than most valuable. If it were truly most valuable, Chris Paul would get a pretty good number of first place votes. Same with Kobe and Durant. I think Melo’s value is a little overdone at times. He’s a great scorer, but he’s wildly inefficient. This was the best season of his career, and he still only shot 45%. That’s really not that good for a guy who’s treated as the Knicks’ savior and whatnot. Anyway, LeBron would still win the MVP every year even if people did vote based on value to a team versus talent. Miami may still make the playoffs without him, but they probably wouldn’t make it out of the first round. Plus, LeBron’s worth on defense is so understated. When was the last time we’ve had guy in the NBA who can effectively guard 4 different positions? He IS the anchor on defense.


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