The greatest day in October isn’t Halloween. It’s something that already happened. Yesterday, October 28th, marked the beginning of the regular season of the NBA. Defending NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs, defeated the Dallas Mavericks with a close 101-100 victory at home.
It was an exciting game and it’s always great to see another season kick off with the ring ceremony as is tradition. But what I’m really interested to see this season is how things will play out for the Miami Heat with the loss of LeBron James, and of course for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the return of their hometown star. LeBron is a bit of a polarizing figure- people tend to either think highly of him, or not. At this point in his career I think he has proven that he is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
The Cavs’ season officially kicks off with a home game against the New York Knicks tomorrow night. Kevin Love was taken out of practice yesterday, will he be back in the game? The report says he was removed as a precaution, so I imagine he’ll return by tomorrow. The even bigger question is, how will this new Cleveland lineup perform? They’re off to a good start with a strong pre-season, but the regular season games will only bring more pressure to this team as they figure out how to balance each other.
As for Miami, their season kicks off tonight at 7:30 EST in a match against the Washington Wizards. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will pick up the pieces of what is left of the ‘Big Three’ without LeBron. Stay tuned.
The NBA’s M.V.P. award is one of the most cherished awards in all of basketball and each season, it always raises the question; who’s that year’s best player. However, the true question is, is that the right question that needs to be answered?
Answered year after year by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the United States and Canada, the NBA M.V.P. selection process is always a tough decision. Selected after a series of voting, awarded by points as such; first-place votes getting 10 points, second-place votes, seven points, third-place votes, five points, fourth-place votes, three points, and fifth-place votes, one point.
Once the points are then tallied up and accounted for, the answer to the question; who is the NBA’s M.V.P. of that season is then answered. Though, despite going through a points system selected by a wide-ranged and different-opinionated group of sportswriters and broadcasters are these writers and analysts making the right selections? Are they answering the right question of “who is that year’s NBA M.V.P.?”
M.V.P. or as it stands unabbreviated, Most Valuable Player means as it reads, Most VALUABLE Player. Though, despite being as clear as it’s written, this award, the NBA’s M.V.P. year after year always ends up being misinterpreted.
Winner after winner, at-least in past years always ends up being what seems to be that year’s “best” player instead of that year’s most “valuable” player.
For instance, in the current M.V.P. standings according to NBA.com, from numbers one to number five goes, LeBron James (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs).
Now if the award, was selected as for what it truly stands for, Most VALUABE Player, then why is James, Durant, and Bryant ahead of other players such as Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and others who show true value.
Now, don’t get me wrong, James, Durant, and Bryant are all very valuable players as all three are certainly among the top five players in the NBA. However, they don’t fit the M.V.P. award as the award is given to the Most VALUABLE Player, not the most OUTSTANDING or BEST player.
So how do we determine who’s valuable and who’s not? You look at that candidate’s team and ask, if you take this player away (The candidate you are selecting for M.V.P.) would this team still be able to produce wins? Would this team still be able to make it to the playoffs, if they are in the playoffs or contending for them? Or would this team even be able to win games, without this player? Those three questions, based off of the definition of the M.V.P. award should determine the winner of the award each season.
So based off of that theory of the M.V.P. award, the player who should be this years 2012 NBA M.V.P. is Minnesota Timberwolves Forward, Kevin Love. Love averaged a double-double for the third consecutive year in a row now for the Timberwolves as he averaged, 26.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game.
Love, who missed eleven games this season due to different reasons, including the last seven games of the season which was due to concussion related problems, saw his Timberwolves struggle to win without him as during those eleven games; the Timberwolves went 2-9. As for the two games that they won, were against the Sacramento Kings (22-44), which they won by two (86-84) and the other victory which they won by 11 points (91-80) was against the Detroit Pistons (25-41).
Love did everything and anything in his power, game in and game out just to give the Timberwolves a win. However, even 51 points wasn’t good enough to fulfill that goal. As on Friday, March 23rd in a game the Timberwolves lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 149-140, in double overtime. Love who had 51 points, 14 rebounds, 7 three pointers, and a career high performance in points just wasn’t enough to get his Timberwolves a win.
So, the point that I’m trying to make here is, the Timberwolves finished 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 26-40. 24 of those wins came with Love; two of them came without him. Take Love away from the Timberwolves this past season and you have yourself the Western Conference version of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Love currently ranks sixth in the NBA’s current M.V.P. standings and most likely won’t win the 2012 M.V.P. award.
Despite, showing that he’s truly the leagues most VALUABE player it just won’t happen as the selected panel of voters just aren’t getting the true meaning of the award and that’s the player who serves the most value, not who serves as the best player. As for the panel they’re picking the best player in the league and there’s a difference between the most valuable and the best player, as proven with Love this season.
This won’t be the first time that the NBA will make the wrong selection for the M.V.P. award, which is why they should make a new award, called the M.O.P., the Most Outstanding Player. Which in that case, Bryant, James and Durant would be ahead of Love as for what order? Well that’s another story.
Remember when LeBron James made his decision to go to Miami, broadcasted live nationally on ESPN on that July summer night? In just 16 words, James would ruin something that he had built up for almost his whole life and that was his legacy in the eyes of the Cleveland fans.
“In this fall I’m going to take my talents to south beach and join the Miami Heat,” James said during is ESPN Decision.
The hate of LeBron would become even worse after they hosted a type of pep rally honoring the new “big three” of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and himself in the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena.
While hosting it, LeBron would guarantee Heat fans not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven but multiple championships. However in their first season together LeBron would stay true to his word…well some of it, as they wouldn’t win “not one” Championship as they would lose to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 giving the LeBron “haters” exactly what they wanted; failure.
The LeBron drama would continue as right after the game six NBA Finals loss to the Mavericks, James would respond to a question from the press, who asked him “Does it bother you that so many people are happy to see you fail?”
James would reply saying “Absolutely Not, cause at the end of the day, all the people who are rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today, they got the same personal problems they had, today. You know, and I’m gonna continue to live the way I want to live, and continue to do the things I wannna do with me and my family …they gotta get back to the real world at some point.”
James’ post game comments would headline atop the sports world and the man once proclaimed as the “King” was now appearing to most as the “villain.”
Fast forwarding to the 2011-12 NBA season James’ would sit down with ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols where he told her that his days of being the “villain” were over.
“I got to this point by playing this game a certain way, (I’m) getting back to loving the game and having fun with the game,” James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
“I play the game fun, joyful, and I let my game do all of the talking and I got away from that. That’s what I lost last year. Going through my first seven years in the NBA I was always the “liked one” and to be on the other side — they call it the dark side or the villain or whatever they call it — it was definitely challenging for myself. It was a situation I had never been in before, and it took awhile … it took a long time to adjust to it,” said James.
James’ would stay true to his word as he continued his annual trips to his hometown of Akron, Ohio where he would visit the University of Akron to play flag football and other sorts of things.
Building his popularity back up, the hometown kid who once was the star and then overnight became the most hated player of the Cleveland community, has flipped the script again as he told reporters after practice that a return to Cleveland is something that he won’t rule out.
“I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again,” James said after practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
“I had a lot of fun times here. You can’t predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami player and I’m happy where I am now but I don’t rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.”
Decision part two?
“I don’t hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don’t hold them that long,” James said. “He [Dan Gilbert] said what he said out of anger. He [Gilbert] probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There’s some things I’d want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on.”
The spectacle of the LeBron James sweepstakes has come to an end with LeBron heading to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (both of which committed to the Miami Heat) and with the city of Cleveland left in heartbreak. For the entire summer, the most popular question that was asked in sports was “Where is LeBron James going?” and on Thursday night in an hour long special on ESPN, the sports world was given an answer. However, even though James is joining a stellar team in Miami he leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of many in the sports world and could have possibly stained his legacy.
On an hour long special broadcasted by ESPN that benefitted The Boys And Girls Club Of America, LeBron announced that he would be going to Miami. Now, many felt that this was a bad move to do on national TV with many saying it was a nationally broadcasted breakup. For people in Miami it was party time in a city that is known for it’s partying but for the people of Cleveland it was a funeral that was broadcasted to the entire world.
In fact, so many were scorned in the city of Cleveland that most took off their James jerseys and set them aflame. The bad blood continued into the next day as owner of the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert wrote a letter to the fan base of Cleveland saying that James was “narcissistic” and even went on to curse James in his future at Miami saying that the Cavaliers would win a championship before “the self-proclaimed king” as he put it.
No matter what side of the LeBron sweepstakes you fall on it’s easy to see that the Miami Heat is now a powerhouse of a basketball team and that the LeBron sweepstakes were an amazing spectacle to behold.