As the NBA season draws to a close, the debauchery that some call a race to the MVP trophy is starting.
The MVP race has been suspect because of the lack of specific criteria.
Some say it’s about the player who has the greatest impact on his team. Then another analyst will chime in and say the player’s impact has to have propelled the team into championship contention.
Yet another will argue the trophy belongs to the person who makes his teammates better. But in all the questions that swirl around the trophy, there is one that is conspicuously overlooked.
It’s a simple question that should in fact be the sole criteria for selecting the league’s most valuable player.
The title of MVP should be bestowed on the game’s best player. Period.
My frustrations began with the race in the 90’s, when Michael Jordan failed to win every year he played. No disrespect to Charles Barkley, David Robinson or Karl Malone, but there wasn’t a player better than Jordan in his heyday.
To the disgrace of the game itself, the ridiculous race continues late in the NBA season. The NBA is known to play Robin Hood when it comes time to handing out the MVP hardware, taking from the rich and talented and giving to the poor in criteria.
The league stole the trophy from Jason Kidd in 2001. In 2004, Kevin Garnett walked away with the trophy, and he didn’t have one game with more than 40 points that year.
Then came the 2005 and 2006 seasons, when Steve Nash won the award for leading the Suns to a spectacular early exit for the playoffs two years in a row. While Nash is the best point guard in the game, he has the luxury of playing with two all-stars, Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Marion, and a slew of sharp shooters who helped bolster his assist average.
Simply put, the standards for MVP have yet to be clearly defined, which inspires me to petition for the most logical basis of judgment.
How can the games best player walk away with a simply nod of affirmation and an space in their trophy case that remains void? It’s unfair that the game’s best player goes unrecognized in favor of a player who fits into a vague mold that is subject to change dependent on the candidates in the race.
This year won’t be much different. There is no doubt that when judgment day comes, Gilbert Arenas’ career year will be overshadowed by the Wizards’ failure to contend for a title. And Kobe Bryant’s record-breaking scoring sprees will be his flaw because he failed to generate more opportunities for teammates.
Instead the media judges will look at he Mavs winning record and ask that Nowitski be given the honor. Or they will turn to Nash’s Suns and agree that his playmaking skills have earned him his third award in the last three years. But they won’t take into account that neither of these players are the best in their sport. For that-they will be rewarded
Is it fair? Probably not, but when it comes to crowning the NBA’s most valuable player, it rarely is.