Congratulations to LeBron James on his 3rd MVP in 4 years. Why it’s not his 5th straight MVP is still ridiculous to me (yes he should have won it in 07-08 over Kobe as well as last year). I don’t care who he plays for or what kind of shenanigans he pulls in the off-season, no one plays a more efficient game than him. And really, no one is even all that close. He has been the best regular season player year in and year out for the past 5 years. Yes, let’s put the emphasis on “regular season”, but isn’t that the basis for the MVP vote anyways?
Why not last year?
I think it will forever haunt me that the voters in 2011 honestly thought that Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard were more valuable than LeBron. Or did they? I think we all know that regardless of how he played or what kind of numbers he put up, he “eliminated” himself from contention because he decided to take his talents to South Beach. Whatever the circumstance, whoever voted for Derrick Rose or Dwight Howard over LeBron should be ashamed of themselves. He still led his 2nd place in the Eastern Conference Miami Heat in virtually every statistical category. How does that eliminate him from anything?
D-Rose: 25.0 PPG, 7.7 APG, 4.1 RPG, 44.5% FG, 23.34 PER
LeBron: 26.7 PPG, 7.0 APG, 7.5 RPG, 51.0% FG, 27.34 PER
Wait, D-Rose won over LeBron in 2010-2011? What? Believe it or not, he was a full 4 points better than D-Rose in Player Efficiency Rating. Yeah, I don’t understand it either.
2007-2008? That’s a Long Time Ago.
Even though it seems like ages ago, take a look at the stats from 2007-2008 and try to tell me LeBron shouldn’t have won over Kobe:
Kobe: 28.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 45.9% FG 1.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG 24.09 PER
Lebron: 30.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 48.4% FG, 1.8 SPG 1.1 BPG 29.15 PER
Yup, better than Kobe in every statistical category in 07-08. The most glaring though is the Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Over 5 points more than Kobe?! Wow. Maybe it was five years ago, but I want a recount.
Stats Always Back Him Up
Since the 07-08 season (5 seasons in a row), LeBron has been the most efficient player every year according to John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER). I realize that this shouldn’t necessarily be the only metric to consider when looking at the MVP, but it’s basically backing up the fact that he’s putting up ridiculous numbers while be extremely efficient at the same time. Sounds like MVP type of material to me…
If you take a look at almost every advanced metric it will back up LeBron’s case. He consistently leads the league in plus-minus and estimated wins added. I just find it funny that voters decided to overlook these measures in 07-08 and, of course, last year.
How Many Can He Win?
I honestly don’t see why LeBron can’t win 6+ MVPs in his career. He is just 27 years old with 3 MVPs already. He is clearly the most dominant player in the NBA right now and has at least 5 more years in his prime. If he continues to play at this level for those next five years, he will certainly reach Kareem’s record of 6 and even look to surpass beyond that.
It’ll be fun to see him and Kevin Durant battle for MVP in the coming years. Durant is a lethal scorer, but isn’t quite the complete player or facilitator that LeBron is. We’ll see how he continues to develop. Other than KD35, I don’t see any other clear threats for MVP in the coming seasons. Watch out for Kevin Love, though. Derrick Rose and Chris Paul certainly have a chance as well. But no one is on LeBron’s level right now. I don’t see how that’s changing any time soon.
It Should be a No-Brainer
Going on national television to announce your free agency decision shouldn’t eliminate anyone from the MVP consideration. Being hated nationwide for teaming up with two other All-Stars definitely shouldn’t impact the MVP race. Call me or any LeBron lover biased, but at least we have numbers to point to. How can you argue against that?
Feel free to try and tell me why I’m wrong!