It seems strange, yet the National Basketball Association has never had a unanimous Most Valuable Player selection and this year LeBron James had an excellent chance of becoming the first. That wasn’t the case as he received 120 of the 121 first place votes. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe instead voted for Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and he got exactly what he wanted his 15 minutes of fame.
Anthony led the NBA in scoring at 28.7 points per game, he also averaged 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and shot 44.9 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from beyond the arc and 83 percent from the free throw line. He did miss 15 games and during his absence the Knicks went 7-8 without him in the lineup. The issue with voting for him is that the 2012-2013 it wasn’t one of his better seasons shooting the basketball, it tied for his worst when it came to assists and he did have one of his better seasons rebounding.
The biggest weakness for Anthony has always been on the defensive end. He’s got incredible athleticism and still hasn’t improved at the defensive end of the floor.
One of the arguments that Washburn made was that “If you were to take Anthony off the Knicks, they are a lottery team … If LeBron was taken away from the Heat, they still would be a fifth or sixth seed.” It’s really difficult to make that claim with the eighth seed winning 38 games this season and with the Knicks only a game under .500 without Antony in the lineup.
Last season New York won 36 games in the 66 game lockout-shortened season and the previous season won 42 games and in each of these years made the playoffs.
If anything the only other player deserving of a first place vote it was Kevin Durant. He averaged 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and shot 51 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from the three-point line and 90.5 percent from the free throw line.
Durant has made significant strides on his overall game especially on the defensive end of the floor. Even with those improvements it still wasn’t close to surpassing what James did this season.
He averaged 26.8 points per game, 8 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, .9 blocks and shot 56.5 percent from the floor, 40.6 percent from beyond the arc and 75.3 percent from the free throw line. He recorded 36 double-doubles and four triple-doubles, Durant had 19 double-doubles and three triple-doubles and Anthony had 10 double-doubles.
For James his only flaw is his free throw percentage, other than that he improved his range and had a career best in field goal percentage, three-point percentage and rebounds per game. He also finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year Award finishing behind Marc Gasol and in front of Durant.
Could also use hypothetical situations as well, if the Heat lost James for a significant amount of time it would be a huge loss to the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade would again become the focal point of the offense and he’s been prone to injuries of late and Chris Bosh is not the player that he was for the Toronto Raptors.
The reality is Washburn got what he wanted, attention and the NBA still doesn’t have a player who as been a unanimous MVP choice.