(2/10/14) As we near the midway point of the 2013-2014 NBA season, the NBA is already hyping up on who should be this season’s Most Valuable Player. It’s no surprise, the current top two players in the NBA are LeBron James and Kevin Durant. With that being said, has the MVP title in the NBA lost its meaning? Don’t get me wrong, these two athletes are extremely talented and have taken the NBA to newer heights, but do they deserve it? As far as the NBA goes, the MVP award is an equivalent to the most popular athlete. As an avid fan of the NBA, I think the MVP award lost it’s meaning years ago.
Let’s start at the 2007-2008 NBA season. Kobe Bryant was playing one of the best seasons of his career and he took the MVP award for the first time in his career. Though his team lost in the NBA Finals that year, his season performance was more than enough to prove he deserved the MVP award. The following year, LeBron James made a name for himself and the Cleveland Cavaliers by taking the best record and giving Lebron his first MVP. To me this is debatable but I don’t think LeBron should have taken this award. Sure he was playing a great season and carried his team to the top of the NBA, but let’s not forget that Kobe, the previous year MVP champ, is coming off of a career-best season and a lost in the Finals. So you know that Kobe, much like Michael Jordan when he loses, is going to come back with a vengeance and revenge for the NBA title. I thought Kobe should’ve won back-to-back season MVP because he was consistent with his performance and won the NBA title that year.
The 2009-2010 NBA season, THAT one LeBron deserved. He’d shown consistency from the previous season and once again carried his team to best record of the 2009-2010 season. He earned it the right way. In the 2010-2011 season, Derrick Rose became the youngest player to take the MVP award. Why not, he took the Chicago Bulls at the 8th seed of the Eastern conference and made them the top seed the next year. Even though LeBron had a pretty solid season with his new team, Derrick Rose obviously showed the NBA more on why he deserved MVP. Now here’s where I think the MVP title lost its meaning. The 2011-2012 NBA season was shortened because of the lockout, but the 66 games in this season was enough to show who deserved the MVP title. The title went LeBron James but this is very debatable. I thought that Kevin Durant deserved the MVP award. He was playing his best season (so far), bringing his team to second place in the West and also capturing his third scoring title. The conspiracy idea I had behind this was that the NBA didn’t want to give Durant the MVP and the scoring title in the same season (for some odd reason), so they made an easy choice by giving LeBron his third MVP award because he was expected to win his first NBA championship. Easy choice right? It seems like the NBA is following the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) format and decided to make LeBron the “face” of the NBA. He’s a good choice for that, with his popularity in the NBA, his style of play, kids want to be him and his partnership with Nike has made his shoes really popular (and expensive). The 2012-2013 season, LeBron was awarded his fourth MVP title. On this season, the MVP award could’ve went either way in my opinion. Durant could’ve won his first (or second) MVP title, Carmelo Anthony could’ve won his first the way he was playing with the New York Knicks, and of course LeBron could’ve (and did) won, just because he’s LeBron James.
Now here’s my pipe bomb (CM Punk reference), the NBA Season MVP doesn’t have the same meaning it once held years ago. It went from most valuable player to franchise player with the team best record and now to the most popular player. The MVP rankings is changing their format and is just an award to give to a player who’s the most popular or who sells the most jerseys or gets the most mentions on twitter and NBA Pulse. The MVP title isn’t a title that proves who’s the best player anymore. It’s a title of who’s the most popular player in this high school called the National Basketball Association. If Paul George of the Indiana Pacers doesn’t get the season MVP of the 2013-2014 season, it just shows how little meaning the award has. He’s improving his game season after season, took the Miami Heat to seven games in the conference finals and is still continuing to be dominant in the current season. Let this article get picked up by ESPN First Take and I’ll join Stephan A. Smith and Skip Bayless on this topic. This is what I’ve been seeing in the past couple of seasons of the NBA and it’s about time to see some changes and bring the NBA to what it was years ago, a raw competitive sport.
In case if you’re not keeping count on MVP’s, here’s my list:
Kobe Bryant: 2 (2008, 2009) LeBron James: 2 (2010, 2013) Kevin Durant: 1 (2012) Derrick Rose: 1 (2011)