The MVP talk in the NBA is in full bloom right now and with certain players starting to pull away from the pack, I think it is appropriate to look at what it means to be the most valuable player of the league.
There has always been a dilemma between whether this award should go to simply the best player, or the player that is most important to their particular team. This year is the best example of this across the big four sports that we have seen in quite a while. There are three major candidates that continue to come up on “expert’s” blogs- Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Derrick Rose.
Here are the issues with each player:
- Lebron James– Pros: There is no doubt that James is now the best player in the league. With Kobe losing a step due to his knees, and Kevin Durant still developing into a complete player, James is by far the most electric and complete player the NBA has to offer. Even while playing with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, James is still putting up a 26/7/7 line for the Heat which is fairly incredible. Cons: The problem for Lebron is he’s certainly not the most valuable player to his own team. If you were to take Lebron James off of the Miami Heat, they still have Wade and Bosh, who have both carried their teams to the playoffs over the past couple of seasons by themselves.
- Kevin Durant– Pros: After being the league’s scoring champ last year, Durant has done little to dispute the notion that he is now the best pure scorer in the game. Not only that, but he has taken a Oklahoma Thunder team that was moved over from Seattle and turned it into a bona fide playoff contender in a still competitive western conference. Cons: Now with the emergence of young point guard Russell Westbrook and all the attention he is getting, the pressure no longer lies solely on Durant, which means fewer votes when it comes time to determine the recipient of the award.
- Derrick Rose– Pros: He has gone from a raw athlete playing the point guard position in the NBA to being a highlight reel every single night for the Chicago Bulls. He has carried this team through two major injuries to Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, and now with both healthy they are surprisingly two games off the number one seed in the eastern conference. Averaging 25 ppg and 8 apg, he is one of the top point guards in the league. Cons: The only thing holding Rose back is the possibility that the voters don’t see him as a top three point guard in the NBA and therefore not as eligible as James and Durant.