"When I placed my NBA MVP vote a few weeks ago," the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn writes, "I knew I would be in the minority. I knew LeBron James was the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth award because he unquestionably is the best player in the game."
So now we know who was the lone vote not to vote LeBron as the MVP. And here's the good news: It wasn't some big statement against LeBron. It wasn't a Cleveland voter going all anti-LeBron. It wasn't a New Yorker going anti-Heat as LeBron speculated.
It was a solid, respected NBA writer who was the only one of 121 voters who didn't vote for LeBron.
It's just a sports conversation, in other words. And that's what the MVP vote is to most of us. A sports conversation about who is the best and why.
I didn't really care about this contrived controversy until the voter's existence became a mystery along the lines of Amelia Earhart's disappearance. LeBron thought it was a New York writer, because "the Knicks hate the Heat." Names were floated on Twitter Sunday night (I wanted to confess not voting for LeBron because in today's world that's an image-booster ... except that would be contrived. I don't vote).
Again: I don't question the right of anyone voting for someone other than LeBron. I just question their logic and basketball sense after this season. Now, understand this: If you watch LeBron night in and night out, you're understandably biased. It's hard to imagine someone playing better. He's the singular player in American sports right now (Messi is his equal in soccer, so let's not stretch things to the world's borders). Of course, right now means right now, today, because the playoffs are here and he has to prove it nightly.
Let's follow the lone wolf's logic, though:
Writes Washburn: "This isn't the Best Player in the Game award, it's the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years."
You hear this a lot in MVP voting. If you take X player off a team, they wouldn't be as good. So argue this: If you put LeBron on the Knicks and Anthony on the Heat, are the Knicks better or worse for it?
Continues Washburn: "Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar'e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times."
Anthony had a great year. No one should say otherwise. But this isn't really about that. And, yes, the start of the playoffs - while not part of the regular-season voting - hasn't been kind to Washburn's vote. Anthony is shooting 34.8 percent and 14.3 percent on 3-pointers (4-for-28).
Still, Washburn is right when saying:"The fact that Anthony is struggling in the playoffs, three weeks after I cast my vote, is a serious case of Wednesday morning quarerbacking. Anthony scored 50 points at Miami April 2 and averaged 36.9 points in April when the Knicks were trying to lock down the Atlantic Division and the No. 2 seed."
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