Could you imagine a world where Robert Parish was quoted as saying that Kevin McHale should be the closer and K.C. Jones affirmed that at the start of the season, but Bird still won MVP? Or how about Michael Jordan hoisting up another MVP award in a season where he gladly floated around the three point line, detached from the offense every close game, and just let Scottie finish up fourth quarters? MVP awards provide a snapshot of what happened on the court in addition to what happened on the stats sheet.
The 2011-2012 MVP voters had an opportunity to send a message to basket ball fans 30 years from now. A message that said, “Numbers show that LBJ had a freak year, but he wasn’t the MVP. He wasn’t the emotional leader of his team. He wasn’t the closer on his team. To boot, not one person on his team regarded him as such.”
A much better argument could be made for Chris Paul. CP3 dropped 20 a night and added 9 dimes and just shy of three steals. Anyone who stayed up late to watch “Lob City” saw how he meant everything to that team’s success. Despite a terrible coach, Paul led a crew of swingmen to a 22% increase in win percentage by directing every bit of traffic on offense and defense. Getting guys involved when they needed to be and taking over when he had to. There is a reason why with 2 minutes left in a 5 point game, most NBA fans just feel Paul is going to win his squad the game, and most wonder if LeBron will even be noticeable. That’s an argument no one will understand 30 years from now. Thanks, MVP voters.