Jan. 25 -- With no concrete criteria to use as a guideline, we're left to our own subjectivity and various statistical devices to determine the names on our ballots for the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.
For some of us, that means weighing a player's individual statistics, his team's overall success and whatever thoughts we have about his game, character and performances before putting him on the ballot.
That means each voter brings a unique perspective to the process, a painstaking affair that we go through every week here on the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder (which has a new No. 1 this week). But this is a debate that rages daily around the NBA world, and I mean literally around the world.
And the view from afar, using the formula of Fergus McFarlane from Canberra, Australia, is an interesting one.
I'd just like to throw my support behind one MVP candidate. So if you'll stay with me, let me propose the following for two "players:"
Player A: in 38.5 mpg, he collects 26.3 pts, 8.1 boards, 7.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks whilst shooting 55% from the field, 40% from three, 73% from the stripe and commits 2.8 turnovers a game.
Player B: in 39.7 mpg, he collects 29.5 pts, 8.4 boards, 8.2 assists, 1.9 steals, 2.8 blocks whilst shooting 56% from the field, 41.7% from three, 91% from the stripe and commits 3.3 turnovers.
Despite the difference in blocks, I'm sure you will agree that player A and player B are pretty much identical stats-wise. As I'm sure you know, Player A is none other than your current (as of last Wednesday) MVP leader, LeBron James.
Player B, on the other hand, is the output you would receive if you took the leading statistical categories from the big three of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The minutes, points, 3-point percentage, free-throw percentage and turnovers are Kevin Durant's stats. The assists and steals are Russell Westbrook's and the rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage are Serge Ibaka's.*
While I can appreciate the team success OKC is experiencing, how can anyone in the media say LeBron James is not the MVP when his statistics are on par with the contributions of the Thunder's big three?
Now, surely, the media understands that the Thunder, on paper, are a more traditionally structured team and therefore better placed for regular season success. But as long as the Heat continue to win (they're on a 55-win pace), I don't see why LeBron should be denied a fourth MVP in five years because the media enjoys fresh stories. Give credit where credit is due and give the man what he rightly deserves!