All But One

Photo by David Santiago/Getty Images/espn.go.com Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)

What does value mean to you? My boss is constantly pushing me to see the value in the work we do and the advertising that we purchase.  It has taken me awhile to truly understand the value of certain things, but once you do, the opportunities that it can offer a company, organization or team are endless.  This past Sunday, LeBron James was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the fourth time in his career.  Everybody believed that James would be the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, but that was not the case.  It was later released that James received 120 of the 121 possible votes for MVP.  The one person that didn’t cast their vote for LeBron was Gary Washburn, a sports writer for the Boston Globe, and over these last few days he has been widely criticized by the media.

“How could you NOT vote for LeBron as MVP? He is the best in the world! Carmelo may have been the player of the month, but LeBron is the player of the year! This is just preposterous!” That is not how I feel at all and that isn’t even a direct quote from anyone, but that has been the consensus from the big wigs in sports media.  Side note, imagine that quote being said by Stephen A. Smith, pretty close huh? Personally, I don’t understand what the hoopla is all about.  Washburn is allowed to vote for anybody that he wants and his vote is just as valuable as the rest of the 121 votes.  In the end his vote didn’t matter because he was the only one to vote for Carmelo Anthony as MVP, but the debate that his vote has caused absolutely amazes me! For me, the lone vote for Carmelo raises the debate of what do the words most valuable player really mean?

After watching this season, there is no question that LeBron James is the best basketball player in the universe, unless the Monstars comeback from Space Jam, then we are all in for a world of hurt, but I digress.  Does the best mean you are the most valuable? LeBron is the best player in the game, but without him, are the Heat relevant? Do they make the playoffs? Are the Heat still contenders for a title? I believe that the answer is yes to all of those questions because even without LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade are enough to get Miami a 60 win season and probably a deep run into the NBA Playoffs.  This is no disrespect to LeBron because he truly is the best in basketball and all players should thrive to be as good as he is, but I have to side with Washburn on this one.

I do not believe that LeBron is the most valuable player TO HIS TEAM in the NBA.  As you all know, I am not a Carmelo fan whatsoever.  I can’t stand the man with his cocky/selfish attitude, but one thing is certain, Melo can play.  Without Anthony, the New York Knicks would not be in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals right now, or even in the playoffs for that matter.  Hell, the Knicks may not even be a .500 ball club without Carmelo! That is how valuable he is to New York.  Anthony’s role players consist of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler while James gets to play with Wade, Bosh, Chalmers and Battier.  The value that LeBron has around him is much greater than what Carmelo does, so having Melo out on the court is much more valuable to the Knicks than playing James is to the Heat.  Granted, with LeBron, the Heat are title favorites for years to come, but without him, they are still title contenders.  If the NBA wants to rename the award to the Most Outstanding Player in the league, then LeBron is the unanimous winner, but when the word valuable is brought into discussion, it changes the game. When you are the only person that goes against the rest, you will receive criticism, no question. But all in all, everybody has their own opinion and just like everybody else, Washburn is entitled to his own.  So before you ask for Gary Washburn’s head or the sports media loses their mind, remember what the award stands for and ask yourself this. What are the Miami Heat without LeBron James?