“and the runner-up is…..”

Being that Mr. James has a rather strong grip on things these days, and should  for quite some time, let’s rank the “MVPILNE” finalists in order, 2-5, for the 2012-13 NBA season.

2

2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: (24.83 PER, 28.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.6 APG, 37.9% 3PT) By very loose standards, Carmelo Anthony had another typical Carmelo Anthony season: pump in a million points by using an array of old school moves combined with sneaky explosion and accuracy from long range. However, this season, ‘Melo finally shed the “me” label and earned league-wide praise for being a great teammate. A great scorer AND a willing defender, he highlighted this year with nightly passion and hustle. He carried an aging, decaying roster into the championship conversation, which is where the Knicks currently reside entering the Playoffs. His play over the final month of the season, bumps him up to the 2nd spot, behind James.

3

3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: (28.30 PER, 28.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG4) While some bristled at his new found ‘tude, Durant’s championship exterior and grit took a quantum step forward this season. Always unguardable, he tapped into his inner nastiness, a characteristic  all of the great ones flash when it’s time to truly fight. His supporting cast is better than Carmelo’s, which is why Anthony gets the nod this season. But let’s face it: given his length and range, he might just be the most uniquely-skilled player in league history. While we can debate that at a later date, one thing is for certain: without KD, the Thunder are nothing but intermittent rain drops. Enough to annoy you, but far from dangerous.

5

4. Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors: (21.37 PER, 23 PPG, 6.9 ASP, 4.1 RPG, 46% 3PT) Admittedly, the W’s have stumbled down the stretch a bit, but if you’re a true fan of the league, regardless of allegiance, you had to enjoy the show this kid put on for the fans at Oracle Arena. Keep in mind, the West is stacked, loaded with young, explosive lead guards, players Curry absolutely toyed with on a nightly basis. His range is ridiculous, and his playmaking ability is vastly underrated to the average fan. Additionally, his starting SF is a rookie, his backcourt mate is finishing his 2nd season and his starting C missed a million games, again. (Bogut) Without Curry, the Warriors are in the lottery. Could you say the same about the Heat, Knicks, Thunder or Clippers without their best player? Didn’t think so. Finally healthy, Curry showed the NBA world what college fans discovered long ago: he is truly special, and moving forward, a Top 10 player. Great, great kid to boot.

4

5. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: (26.31 PER, 17.0 PPG, 9.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, 2.4SPG) Let’s summarize Paul’s importance this way: when he suits up, the Clippers are a viable threat to Miami’s crown. When he doesn’t, they are a 7-8 seed, otherwise known as first round road kill on the streets. His timing is impeccable and his ability to make the right decision during crunch time has placed him in the middle of a Hall of Fame career. For some, this might be too low for Paul, given his importance to the franchise. For me, this is exactly where he belongs.

By the way, MVPILNE is an acronym for “Most Valuable Player If Lebron Never Existed.”

Something else to consider, if you’re still a bit reticent to bump James into the “MJ” file, where I believe he will eventually reside, comfortably. Just stare at the words below, and let it sink in.

Recent Most Valuable Player Awards

2008-09: Lebron James

2009-10: Lebron James

2011-12: Lebron James

2012-13: (Absolute lock) Lebron James

You think he might just be in contention, oh, I don’t know, perhaps next year, and the year after and the year after that?

If he wins a few more, and he will, in terms of individual greatness, to still refuse to include him in the Jordan class, you’re just hating.

Never hate on true greatness, as you’ll simply get burned in the end.

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1 Comment

  1. Come on BT...

     /  04/17/2013

    Melo over Durant? I guess playing 14 fewer games and having worse stats overall (I see you omitted Melo’s significantly lower shooting percentage) makes you more valuable…

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