Post-game Reactions

Even Anthony was all like, "I got a 1st place vote?! You serious?!"

Disclaimer: We here at CelticsHub try our best not to get into the business media criticism, especially when it involves someone we know, like, and respect very much. Sometimes, however, the story is so monumental it all but requires some sort of commentary. The following is a special to CelticsHub from 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Rich Keefe:

By now you have all heard that Heat F LeBron James won his 4th NBA MVP Award over the weekend. He received 120/121 1st place votes. Today we learned that Celtics beat writer Gary Washburn, of the Boston Globe was the lone outlier.  He voted instead for Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony, preventing LeBron from being the first unanimous winner. He wrote why he voted the way he did and has been making the rounds on local and national radio all day.

He was wrong.  Here’s why.

No matter what your criteria is for MVP, LeBron James was the only choice.  Let’s take a look.

Carmelo led the league in scoring  (28.7 points per game) and James finished 4th (less than 2 points back at 26.8). But James shot a significantly better percentage from the floor (56.5 to 44.9) and from 3 (40.6 to 37.9).

One of Washburn’s big reasons for voting for Anthony was that he led the league in scoring.  Tracy McGrady led the league in scoring twice. He finished 4th in MVP one of those years and didn’t receive a SINGLE VOTE in the other.

When compared with Anthony, James averaged more rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and minutes.  The assist number was particularly lopsided (7.3 to 2.6).  Who makes their teammates better?  If you want to add the assist-points onto their scoring you get 41.4 for James and 33.9 for Anthony (and that’s calculating just 2 points per assist).

James had 36 double-doubles, Anthony had 10.

James missed 6 games all season (in the final month of the year for rest), Anthony missed 15.

James finished 2nd in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, Anthony finished 2nd to last (this can’t be confirmed).

If you like PER (Player Efficiency Rating) that’s also in favor of James: 31.67 (1st); Anthony: 24.83 (4th)

If you vote based on statistics, it’s obvious.  If you vote on simply who the best player is, it’s obvious.  If you want to come up with some off the wall/ I’m sick of voting for LeBron theory, then you find a way to vote for someone else.

But if your argument is, “he led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years.  That’s a long time” then what about Chris Paul?

Paul led the Clippers to their first division title in…. EVER.  First title in franchise history.  Seems more historically significant to me.

Another “reason” to vote for Anthony was the theory that without him the Knicks don’t make the playoffs and without James the Heat are still a top team.  Well it’s a small sample size, but New York went 7-8 this year without Anthony. That pace would have beat out the Bucks for the 8 spot.

The Knicks won the division in large part because the Celtics were far worse/older/just trying to get through the regular season.  Deron Williams played hurt for most of the season.  The 76ers got 0 minutes from Andrew Bynum after trading for him, and the Raptors are…the Raptors.  Now, the Heat didn’t play in a world-beating division either, but to say Anthony gets your vote because he scored a lot of points and the Knicks won the division is weak.

James has better teammates.  Fact.  They did win 12 more games and have the best record in the NBA.  The Knicks finished with the 6th most wins in the league.

If you really want to use the, “Without him where is his team reasoning?”  Then I assume Washburn had James HardenStephen Curry, and Zach Randolph high on his ballot.

Fact is James has already been penalized for choosing to join forces with  Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  He should have been the MVP in 2011 (when Derrick Rose won), and everyone knew it, except not voting for him was the only way to say they disagreed with him leaving Cleveland, “The Decision,” and the perception that he was taking the easy way out to win titles.  That lasted one year and he has since won back-to-back MVPs in Miami, and 4 out of 5 overall.

Look, I’m not a LeBron apologist.  In the words of the Catfish LB, “Far from it.  Faaarrrrr from it.”  I actually like Anthony more, but to think he was the MVP over James is crazy.  Michael Jordan missed out on some MVPs simply because writers were sick of voting for him.  James has raised the bar for this generation and is without question the best player in the game.  To vote for someone else when he continues to put up insane numbers, because a guy made a team relevant again, or because he was the scoring champ?  Makes no sense.

Yes, I understand that James still won it this year, but I don’t understand how an NBA writer doesn’t agree with that.  This wasn’t a Tim Duncan or Jason Kidd, Duncan or Kevin Garnett , or Dirk Nowitzki or  Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant type of year.  This was clear cut. Maybe what James is doing is being taken for granted… by one Boston writer, anyway.

Rich Keefe is an Anchor and Host on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.  You can follow him on twitter: @Keefe21

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  • hydrofluoric

    Absolutely embarrassing. Makes the whole city of Boston look bad. His justification included Barkley and Malone's MVPs. So he called back on fraudulent precedence in order to justify a fraudulent vote. Ugh.

  • Dan

    While we are at it….can we also talk about how many of the 120 that voted for the Lebrick were wrong? MVP is not for who is the best player in the legue. Did he have one hell of a season? Yes, absolutely. But that's not why he should get the MVP, Miami can still win 50+ games without him.

  • Josh_5

    I hate Lebron. I despise him, but there is absolutely NO way anybody could justify giving the MVP award to someone other than him. He blew everyone else out of the water this year. The only other choices that carry any merit to me are Durant and Paul, and they are a distant 2nd. You can hate a guy all you want (which I choose to do) but at some point you gotta give him credit for what he's earned.

  • james patrick

    Celtics are out. Who cares. KG/PIERCE BLEED GREEN DANNY! LET THEM STAY!!!!

    • jman

      Exactly. Who gives a shit. Lebron receives multiple help for his offense by heirarchies so exactly what would his offense been in reality? His defense was helped as well from the heirarchies. As for his rebounding and assists plus leadership, I'll give him the credit he deserves. Does he deserve the MVP , I say no. Should he get a nom for mvp, sure. Did he deserve it in 08? No but he received it anyhow for the heirarchies wanted it to be to market him. Does he deserve the marketing? Sure he does for he is a great player. But take away the help from the heirarchies, and what do you have? Great yes, but marketed as the best, hell no not even close.

  • IBleedGreen

    I hate LeBron James more than anything.

    • Swissflix

      I hate Mondays quite a lot!

  • ben

    The lone dissenter was right. It's most VALUABLE player to their team. Not to the fans or the NBA in general. Nor the best player on the planet. If a really good player is on a crappy team and that crappy team does good because of him then he is considered more VALUABLE to that team than someone that has better stats on an already good team.

    • GymRat

      Couldn't agree more.

  • tbunny

    The argument is laughable. Lebron is the best, it's not close.

  • Morpheus

    Melo is an inefficient chucker and rebounds well…big whoop. Plays no D or he doesn't care about it for some reason. He's selfish, doesn't make his teammates better and you want to give him your vote for MVP?

    Melo is only half the player Bron is.

  • Morpheus

    What's the news on this Clippers – Celtics blockbuster trade talk. Is it legit?

  • check12check

    this is a joke. the only player one could make an argument for over james is KD, and you would have to be drinking A LOT of the blue kool-aid to suggest he was better than james this year. Kudos to him though, James' historic level season overshadows the fact that Durrant is a much improved player this year, and this kid is just 24. I hope the league is ready for his reign of dominance in coming years.

  • GymRat

    I have to flat out disagree with you and this article. MVP like all the end of the season awards are purely subjective. People can't even agree what the criterea are, so how you can fault a person for being of the opinion that Carmelo was (by his criterea and opinion – which is what he was asked for) his first choice.

    The real reason LeBron won MVP was because of that bullshit 27 game win streak that was helped by lots of injuries, an incredibly favorable and generous schedule, and LOTS of favorable calls. LeBron is a tremendous player but he happens to play on the most talented team in the league. And even with that remarkable stretch they only won 6 games more than OKC who were dealing with a major roster change up while the Heat added one of the greatest shooters in the game. And they only won 8 games more than San Antonio who are old and routinely threw away games to rest.

    LeBron's numbers are great, but it sure as hell helps when you have 3 other guys on the floor that you absolutely have to guard or they'll destroy you. During their win steak D-Wade put up huge numbers and was just as big a part of it as LBJ.

    If I had a vote it would be Durant. The award is for most valuable. The Heat can easily win without LeBron. They have two all-stars and Ray Allen to go with serious role players and incredible depth. Durant has only Westbrook who is nowhere near the all around player (yet) of Wade. Ibaka is really improving but he's no Chris Bosch and Martin is good, but who on that team is really doing anything after those guys.

    I'm sick of LeBron being forced down my throat as the greatest player in the game. He's not. He's incredibly smart and has a great game. But if the refs called him the same as everybody else in the league he would not be a defensive player of the year candidate (it was ridiculous he was voted 2nd) – he would foul out every game. Imagine if they let Bradley mug guys the way LeBron does.

    He bulls through guys on offense and gets to force his way through a wide open lane because nobody can dare collapse on him. He's still a terrible free throw shooter, his jumper is still inconsistent and he still can't drive to his left effectively, and though his 3-point percentage was way up, it's because he only takes them now when he is wide open.

    Durant improved dramatically from last year and managed to join the 50-40-90 club despite being forced to carry the offense, while LeBron gets to play quarterback among 3 potential hall of famers and deadeye three point shooters.

    If it was called the most outstanding player you can pull out all your stats and argue LeBron all day. But it's most valuable. Take away Durant and OKC is lucky to win 50 games and likely gets knocked out in the first round. Take away LeBron the Heat still win 50 games and are still a favorite to make the finals.

    I'd say Chris Paul, James Harden, Steph Curry and Melo all where worthy of a mention. If Kyrie Irving managed to stay healthy enough to play a full season, I'd say he was the winner.

    It's an opinion poll. What gives anyone the right to say another persons opinion isn't valid.

    And I'm sick of it going to the best player on the team with the best record. That's just stupid and not in the spirit of the actual award.

  • Jon Mullen

    Lebron had one of the best statistical seasons in the history of the league. I think that's undeniable. But if we're going to be completely object and ask ouselves "Who is the most valuable player to their team" I still think it might be James. The team is completely built around a set of skills he has honed. There is no way they win 27 straight without him. They might be good, but not that good. I would argue that the Knicks are just as deep of a team as the Heat. What's the difference between the two? Lebron. Melo has a better center and a better point guard. JR Smith is a couple notches below Wade. Lebron plays 1-5 for his team.

    But I think it's fun to look at this award objectively. Maybe the guys at CH could take this a little further. Maybe an analysis of the C's based on player value. How valuable is Rondo? Bradley? Pierce? Garnett? All interesting questions going into this years offseason.

    And why the hell don't the Spurs get any love. Duncan Parker Manu and Pop have been on top for an unprecedented amount of time. They lost in the WCF last year a decade after winning a title. I guess they're just a small market boring team but damn, let's hope Doc and Danny can start something great.

  • Basketball

    I don't like lebron and my favorite player is melo so I think lebron should have not be given the award but there
    Was a couple players that did a little better then melo. I would of voted for Eirving,Paul or Melo