When LeBron James won his fourth MVP Award this weekend, there was an uproar when it was revealed that he received just 120 of the 121 of the first place votes.
Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe revealed today that he was the lone writer to vote for Carmelo Anthony, but his reasoning sounds more like he was looking for an excuse to not for James:
“Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times.”
The problem with this argument is that Washburn is assuming LeBron would not have been able to lead the Knicks to a division title and a place in the playoffs. When in fact, James won two division titles with the Cavaliers on far-inferior teams than the Knicks, and took one Cavs team (2006-07) to the NBA finals, that absolutely should not have been there.
Washburn also mentions that LeBron is playing with two All-Stars.
By that argument, he might never had voted for Larry Bird (3 MVPs), Magic Johnson (3 MVPS), or even Bill Russell (5 MVPs), simply because they played with other hall-of-famers.
Washburn appears to freely admit this hole in his logic, noting that James has now on “the Michael Jordan scale.” That is, Jordan didn’t win the MVP award every year (he won 5) even though he probably should have.
In the end, James still won his MVP award, so this argument is somewhat moot. But if more writers start to follow this logic, one of these seasons, James is going to get robbed of a trophy he deserves.
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