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The MVP

mikeyvthedon
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The MVP

Though the NBA MVP has featured some of the leagues finest players, many times during the best season of their career, their rarely seems to be a unanimous decision on the award. There are so many things to take into account for the award. It takes a combination of winning and individual performance, though sometimes a talented team may actually be a detractor of a player winning the MVP. Certain players have goals set for them based on past accomplishments, and if they do not reach them, than maybe someone who has improved or surprised becomes the new favorite. Like most awards, it is incredibly political, and I believe that the media is the one who usually pick a candidate. Most others usually follow suit, and rarely is the vote too close.

Well, looking at old articles I had written or stored, I came across this one. May be way back in the archives, but I felt like bringing it up again. This season's MVP race is wide open, so really we have no idea who the best candidates are right now. Honestly, more so than having an influx of great candidates, I feel we have some great players who have major flaws to their case. Amare Stoudemire and Derrick Rose seem to be two favorites, yet I still feel they are nowhere near the quality of player of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. However, LeBron and Dwyane play together now, and the expectations are for them to be a 65-70 win team, and they are not getting there this year. I also believe that no matter what happened, people would either be divided on which one is the MVP of their team, not to mention a particular dislike for LeBron and Wade for choosing to play together rather than go in the Michael Jordan/Kobr Bryant method of individual dominance. If either of those two win, I would be surprised, though I would say neither should be discounted.

Kobe, I felt, might be that perfect storm candidate this year. I felt Durant was not going to top his previous years average and the Thunder would be a middle of the road western conference team rather than the 2nd seed breathing down the Lakers neck team many were envisioning. Add to the fact that Russell Westbrook is giving doubts as to who is truly the teams best player (It is Durant, but my point is Westbrook is playing fantastic), than Durant's MVP status takes a hit. I figured this award would than be Kobe's for the taking, especially after the Lakers got off to a hot start. Now, with the Lakers looking like they may not sweep through the regular season with the West's best records, I have my doubts. Kobe is still the player to beat as far as being considered the leagues best, but he has not had the season many expected, maybe due to age, maybe due to injury. Well, just wanted to state this years race is extremely wide open, and I have a feeling the MVP more than likely will be loved by some and hated by many.

This list I made was me going back season by season and listing who I felt should have won the MVP. I do not know how many times I made changes to the original award winner, but it did happen quite a few times. I decided to make this list after a solid article on here I saw about the biggest MVP snubs. We sometimes are incredibly surprised to see that Kobe and Shaq only have been named regular season MVP once in their careers. Finals MVP's may indeed be the more desired award, but winning the MVP usually shows a dominance the player displayed over their careers. So, here is my list of MVP's, done by year, with a total at the bottom of how many won during their career.

2008-09: LeBron James
2007-08: Kobe Bryant
2006-07: Steve Nash
2005-06: Kobe Bryant
2004-05: Allen Iverson
2003-04: Kevin Garnett
2002-03: Tim Duncan
2001-02: Tim Duncan
2000-01: Shaquille O’Neal
1999-00: Shaquille O’Neal
1998-99: Tim Duncan
1997-98: Michael Jordan
1996-97: Michael Jordan
1995-96: Michael Jordan
1994-95: Shaquille O’Neal
1993-94: Hakeem Olajuwon
1992-93: Michael Jordan
1991-92: Michael Jordan
1990-91: Michael Jordan
1989-90: Michael Jordan
1988-89: Michael Jordan
1987-88: Michael Jordan
1986-87: Magic Johnson
1985-86: Larry Bird
1984-85: Larry Bird
1983-84: Larry Bird
1982-83: Moses Malone
1981-82: Moses Malone
1980-81: Julius Erving
1979-80: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1978-79: Moses Malone
1977-78: Bill Walton
1976-77: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1975-76: Bob McAdoo
1974-75: Bob McAdoo
1973-74: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1972-73: Dave Cowens
1971-72: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1970-71: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1969-70: Willis Reed
1968-69: Wes Unseld
1967-68: Wilt Chamberlain
1966-67: Wilt Chamberlain
1965-66: Wilt Chamberlain
1964-65: Oscar Robertson
1963-64: Oscar Robertson
1962-63: Bill Russell
1961-62: Wilt Chamberlain
1960-61: Bill Russell
1959-60: Wilt Chamberlain
1958-59: Bob Pettit
1957-58: Bill Russell
1956-57: Bob Cousy
1955-56: Bob Pettit

Breakdown:
Michael Jordan: 9
Wilt Chamberlain: 5
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 5
Bill Russell: 3
Moses Malone: 3
Larry Bird: 3
Shaquille O’Neal: 3
Tim Duncan: 3
Bob Pettit: 2
Oscar Robertson: 2
Bob McAdoo: 2
Kobe Bryant: 2
LeBron James: 2
Bob Cousy: 1
Wes Unseld: 1
Willis Reed: 1
Dave Cowens: 1
Bill Walton: 1
Julius Erving: 1
Magic Johnson: 1
Hakeem Olajuwon: 1
Kevin Garnett: 1
Allen Iverson: 1
Steve Nash: 1

So, in many cases, most in the early years, I feel the MVP was right on. But, like a make-up Oscar or Grammy snub, sometimes the award is not given at the right time to the best person. I gave Nash the MVP during the Nowitzki's season, which was his best in the NBA. Iverson I give a few years after he actually won his award, as I feel Shaq was the best player in the league bar none. All in all, I did take some MVP's away. I gave Magic only 1 when he actually won 3. I gave it to him in his best individual season, which was also a season where Michael put up 3000 points. However, Magic's team won 25 more games. Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and David Robinson (not to mention Nowitzki) all would have gone their careers without an MVP. Harsh, but to me these are the people who truly deserved the award.

What this list shows more than anything I believe is just how incredibly dominant Michael Jordan was over his career. Their have been many players who have had careers full of great seasons, but none as consistently excellent as Michael. He was an MVP candidate immediately, and I have him winning MVP for 6 consecutive seasons up until his retirement. You can call it being at the right place at the right time, but I call it total individual dominance. This later lead to his incredible team success. So, in my mind, Michael would have won 9 MVP's if you left the politics out of it. Kareem still takes 5, which is one less than he actually won and Wilt takes an extra one, for his incredible 1961-62 season (Yes, I think his season was more impressive than the triple double). Bill Russell loses a couple to Wilt and Oscar, but I can more than make up for it if I were to give you a list of Finals MVP's that should have been won by Bill before the award existed.

Well, I appreciate comments, criticisms or questions. I gave LeBron MVP last year, it was a new addition to the list that is ongoing. In no way do I discount the careers of people I took MVP's from, I just wanted to go over an award that I feel became not necessarily a true measure of who the best player in the league was, but almost an achievement for being a great player. I think competition for the award is incredibly fierce and I really like giving the award to someone who had a season that showed their incredible value to their team.


BKKnicksfan
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I disagree with the notion

I disagree with the notion Kobe should win the MVP. With that being said, I think there's a chance he might win it.

I look at it like this: Statline, wins, situation and last season

When I look at those 3 things, it's tough for me to say Kobe is the #1 MVP guy. I think Rose, Howard and Stoudemire are all ahead of him. I believe it's Rose's year. If Chicago can win 55 games, I think he's the clearcut MVP guy

mikeyvthedon
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Yeah.....

I did not say Kobe should win it. I said I thought it was set up for him to win it, though now I am really think he will not. Rose is one of the better choices for sure, especially if they win 55. But, what I was trying to show was that the MVP was wide open, and I never gave it to Kobe, it was more just an interlude into my list.

lalaila
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interesting year no #1 pick

interesting year no #1 pick no MVP...

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My MVP vote goes to DRose but

My MVP vote goes to DRose but Amare` deserves it.

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I think the NBA.com writers

I think the NBA.com writers will put Lebron back into the conversation very soon....... IMO it is his to lose virtually every season

llperez
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its more wide open this year

its more wide open this year then normal. I dont like how people pretty much narrow it down to 2-3 candidates by the all-star game, this year it is so close you cant do that. Its wide open. And it should be noted that kobe's per 48 points, rebounds and assists are all equal or better then his career averages this season, he is just playing less minutes then ever.

mikeyvthedon
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Kobe

LLPerez, you are very right actually. I did realize Kobe was playing fewer minutes, but the work he is doing in them is impressive. I think the biggest deterrent to Kobe winning right now, whether it should be or not, is that the Lakers are far behind San Antonio for best record in the west. That being said, they are playing great basketball (up until last nights loss to the Clippers, who seem to beat all of the best teams in the league yet still have a losing record), and Kobe is definitely in the discussion. See, I feel the MVP should go to a player who is either the best player in the league or is at least fighting for it. I mean, are Amare and Rose really having that much better of a season than Kobe? Are either in his league as a basketball player? Would either one lead their team to a championship right now (we are talking about the MVP of this year, right)? Both are playing great, but to say they are playing better than Kobe Bryant, I do not know.

The case for Amare Stoudemire is one I would compare to a few players. These players would be Charles Barkley and Steve Nash, as well as Jason Kidd when many said he was an MVP candidate with the Nets. These players went to a new team, had career seasons and people took notice to what they both provided to their new teams. Their teams were all very good, and all of them showed they were leaders and led them to great records. But, these players to me all had obstacles to overcome, either in weaknesses in their game or just straight up better players having better seasons. I guess it is all how you define value, but to me their were more valuable players in the league when these players won the award. Amare is having a great season, and he has been the biggest reason for the Knicks turn around, but is anyone afraid of playing Stoudemire and the Knicks? They may be aware of them, but in the end, the Knicks will more than likely lose due to their weakness, which is defense. Amare has yet to step up in this category, and despite his improved shot blocking, I have not been impressed by his rebounding or defense. I know it is not all on him, but he has played against a lot of players who have had MONSTER games against him at his same position. Love went for 30/30 against, the Knicks. Andrea Bargnani scored 43 points against, the Knicks. Blake Griffin goes off for 44 and 15 against, the Knicks. It may not be all Amare, but I really feel that this pin points a weakness that he has that prevents him from leading a team to the promised land. He has always been a beastly scorer, and he has amazing features for someone his size, but to me these flaws hold him back from being an NBA MVP.

I think the MVP will come down to these 5 players this year: Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant. Yes, it is crazy that the same team has two MVP candidates, and I tend to side with LeBron over Dwyane, but I do think these are two top 3 guys in the league, and they have had great balance going back and forth. The thing that holds them back from winning the award is the fact that people constantly write them off for playing on the same team. The question is not only which one is more valuable, but it is also why are they not undefeated? If they were, it would be why are they not scoring more points? I also feel the media is incredibly down on these two players for the way things went down, and might not vote for them on principle. The MVP is an award usually given to a person who stands out amongst their team as the unquestioned leader, and I think that people do not want to give LeBron that distinction. Yet, at the same time, they know LeBron is a better player than Dwyane Wade. It is an incredibly conflicted argument, but it pretty much results in both of them getting nothing. Kevin Durant was chosen by many as the pre-season winner of the award, and he has of course taken the scoring lead and has lead the Thunder to a pretty solid record. But, he more than likely has been below the ridiculously high expectations given to him. People either expected the Thunder to be challenging for the West lead, which they are not yet good enough as a team to do, or for Durant to be averaging 2 more points per game rather than 2 less. Numbers definitely play a part in this game, as does individual dominance and wins. Now that Russell Westbrook has proven that he too can carry the Thunder on any given night, it might be an uphill battle for Durant to swoop MVP this year.

This leaves Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant. Honestly, at this point, both are having pretty statistically comparable systems. Rose of course is putting up better assist numbers, as he is a PG, and Kobe is his usual incredible self as far as scoring. Also, interesingly enough, their records are fairly similar. Rose's Bulls were of course predicted to be a much better team, yet even with a myriad of injuries, they are locking down the Central. Not to mention, Rose has improved in almost every facet, and even though his shooting % is down, it is comparable to that of Kobe. To many, this would be all they need to see to hand Rose the trophy. I guess I am not one of those people. Kobe Bryant to me is still if not the best player in the game, than 1A or 1B. LeBron has yet to seperate himself from Bryant unequivocally, and while Kobe does have the stronger supporting cast over D-Rose, people need to also realize he does something with it. I think people seem to focus on D-Rose and Amare leading their teams to surprising records and showing improvement, while teams like the Heat and Lakers are BETTER TEAMS. It would be one thing if they had an unequivocally horrible supporting cast and had similar records, but they have lesser supporting casts and lesser records. In this scenario, which is looking likely, Kobe more than likely would have my vote for MVP. Who actually gets the award is anybodies guess, but in my opinion, it is looking like Kobe as long as the Lakers hold it down and lock up a 1-2 seed in the West. I personally find little wrong with giving the MVP to a player to the best player. Value can be measured in so many ways, and many a time I feel the award is given either to a surprising player or to a player having a great season, yet their are still players either having better seasons or who are just better players. It is the NBA MVP, and while your team success or improvement may indeed play into winning it, I tend to go with a player I would want on my team more than anyone else. All I know is that I would still take Kobe well ahead of Rose or Amare at this point.

ItsVictorOladipo
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Kinda neat going back and

Kinda neat going back and reconsidering who should've won mvp is kinda neat isn't it?

Still kinda surprised you took away Magic's MVP in 89 to give it to Jordan. Magic averaged 22.5 PPG, 12.8 APG, 7.9 RPG, 1.8 SPG while shooting 51% from the field and 91% from the line. MJ put up 32.5 PPG, 8 APG and 8 RPG along with 2.9 SPG on 54% FG and 85% FT. Great numbers also, but i would give the edge to Magic because the Lakers also had 10 more wins than the Bulls.

I do like you giving the 1965 trophy out to Oscar Robertson for his superb play.

Somwhat ironically I have always thought that Wes Unseld didn't quite deserve his MVP award as a rookie in 69 feeling that Willis Reed would have been the better choice. But I do think that Abdul-Jabbar should've won MVP when he was a rookie in 1970 over Willis Reed.

I also don't think Abdul-Jabbar should've won it in 1976 and agree with giving it to McAdoo. Kareem's Lakers finished the season 2 games under .500 and somehow he won MVP, still not sure how that happened...

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Took this all into account

Yeah, I did think of giving Magic the MVP over Jordan in 1989, but at that point I just feel Michael was on a different level. Magic had an incredible season, and they did win more games, but he averaged 32-8-8! I mean, Magic had close to 13 assists, but I am blown away by Michael that year in shooting 54% and averaging 2.9 spg. The dude was on another level. I also recall that this MVP award was what caused me to go back and re-examine who won past MVP's. They wrote a list of MVP snubs, and put this one on it. Reed definitely has a case in 1969, and Jabbar does in 1970, but I guess I felt that those players had great achievements during those seasons that were difficult to take away. I mean, I guess I was slightly brutal on a few, but more so in the modern era when I feel it was fuelled by politics. That 1976 one definitely did surprise me, though Abdul-Jabbar's overall statistics were slightly more impressive. That has to be one of the closer votes in history, but to me McAdoo finishing with the better record edges KAJ. But, Kareem averaged damn near 28-17 and did average 5 assists and 4.1 blocks per game. Beast of a season, even for those times.

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Bump this: Jordan over

Bump this: Jordan over Barkley in 93? Jordan over Barkley in 90? Kobe over Dirk in 07?

Please explain

mikeyvthedon
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Start with the most recent

I also would like to say I was not the one that gave you minus 1 before I started, but it would be nice if you actually explained why you had a problem with it to begin with, which you rarely do rather than question someone else's attempt at logic.

2007: I actually gave Steve Nash the MVP the year Dirk won it. So, in essence, Steve Nash would have one MVP to Dirk's 0. Dirk winning the MVP that season was controversial as is, not just in hindsight but even before the voting process. His team had a ridiculous regular season, but so did Nash's, and Nash had the best statistical season of his career. Maybe it is in hindsight, but it was a tad pathetic seeing Dirk getting the MVP while sitting on the sidelines after his team copped the 1 seed in the league. The vote that year was incredibly close, and many made a case that Dirk was not deserving before he lost in the first round. It was something to the extent that Karl Malone and Larry Bird statistically had many more better seasons than Dirk where they had not copped MVP, while at the same time, Dirk had much better seasons than 2007. So, yeah, I stand by who I think should have won MVP in 2007.

1993: I think this MVP was a case of a player never having won the award, and therefore given it over a better player and more than likely candidate. Michael Jordan was incredibly clearly the best player in the NBA, as much as Barkley thought he might have been until he actually played Michael in the finals and came to a shocking realization. Read this:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Charles-Barkley-on-b...

Yes, my giving out of MVP's may have taken some away from past winners, but my list was to try and give the MVP to the most deserving winner. As much as many felt like Charles deserved it for leading his new team to a nice new record and having one of his usual solid statistical seasons at that time, Michael Jordan won another scoring title, lead his Bulls team to the best record in their conference and was his usual brilliant self. This is also the highest scoring average a player has ever had during a regular season where his team has won the championship. Michael Jordan probably should have won the MVP this year, but Charles had never won one, and I think that played more of a part in it than his actual accomplishments compared to Michael that season.

1990: When you say this, Barkley did not win the MVP this year, it was actually Magic Johnson. But, in actuality, Michael Jordan was still the best player in the NBA. 33.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.3 apg and 2.8 spg, shot 52.6% from the field and his team finished quite strongly. Charles shot a career high 60% that season, and had a nice 25 and 11, but Michael was the better player. Magic was awesome as well, and I can not say I am upset he won this MVP, he finished with 22 and 11.5 apg, his team went 63-19, but it still did not stop Michael Jordan from being a better player than him. Magic had already won 2 MVP's at that point, even though Michael had his unbelievable 32.5, 8 and 8 season before that, averaging 10 more points per game than Magic. In a year where neither even went to the championship (Pistons beat the Blazers in 1990), looking back in hindsight, it appears Jordan probably should have taken this one down.

Now, can you explain exactly what you were trying to ask by stating these names and years, as only one of them actually corresponds to a year where I actually has a pairing that I listed?

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Thanks man, I just wanted

Thanks man, I just wanted your opinion on this because I wasn't old enough to remember the first two AND I just thought those were the interesting ones on the list.

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I remember 1993 well and the

I remember 1993 well and the MVP race was very close. JordN actually finished 3rd behind Barkley and Olajuwon. The majority of outspoken coaches/ gm's/ players (people inside the game) felt Olajuwon, not Jordan was the one robbed.

1993 stats:

Olajuwon: 26ppg....13rpg....4apg....4blck

Barkley: 26ppg....12rpg....5apg....1.5stl

Jordan: 33ppg....7apg....6rpg....1.7stls

As you can see all played on great teams and had great individual seasons. Jordan did prove he was the best In the playoffs when it mattered most, but that's not what the MVP award is based on.

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True enough LL

But, this is from my perspective, and while I guess I may use hindsight, I usually feel that when it comes to the nitty gritty, I am giving it to the best player. I am guessing that most people probably also were probably giving Hakeem the academy award treatment. When someone has never won an MVP, they sometimes get a little more hype than a player who has already won the award. Hakeem played even better the next season and was the best player in the game, so I would say things worked out for the best. The MVP is incredibly subjective which is why there is rarely a unanimous winner.

@BKKnicksfan:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/awards/mvp.html

Research and make your own decisions. I was not around for some of the ones I listed either, and may have been making the picks using a lot more hindsight that MVP voters had at the time, but the award lately has been slightly controversial as to whether it is always based on the most valuable player or the most interesting story.

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