The NBA crowned its king today – and to no surprise the MVP of the 2012 NBA season was/is LeBron James.
LBJ put up 27 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 6.2 assists per game and led the Miami Heat to the second best record in the Eastern Conference.
While James’ season this year was certainly impressive, I’m under the mindset that an MVP must carry his team above and beyond the call of duty. We all know the self-proclaimed king can play, and his numbers demonstrate his remarkable, Magic-Johnson-ish ability, but I’m not sure he did anything better/worse than Kevin Durant – or, for that matter, anything better/worse than his Cleveland Cavalier counterpart. James and Durant carried their teams this season, but both had tremendous help from supporting players – Dwayne Wade (who awkwardly stood by this morning and watched James hoist the award in front of the Miami Heat crowd), Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.
In other words, if Durant didn’t at least win co-MVP due to his supporting cast, then why should James (who, with Wade, rides with a more esteemed unit) escape with all the glory?
Miami won games. No shocker there. James put up terrific points. Nope. Still not surprised. James shared the ball more … okay.
For my money, the real shocker this year was watching the San Antonio Spurs completely obliterate the competition. No one (including myself) expected them to rise higher than a number four or five seed in the west, and yet here they are boasting the NBA’s best record, which they’ve extended into the playoffs by besting an unnamed Utah team in four games. Sure the Spurs have a stellar team, but no one I consider above ordinary. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili don’t produce at the rate they used to; while everyone else from Blair to Bonner merely plays a supporting role. Seriously, would anyone on the Spurs start on another team besides the man I think should’ve walked away with the MVP crown?
For that reason, I felt Tony Parker deserved the award. The man produced arguably his best season to date with 18 points and 7.7 assists per game. James may demonstrate raw athletic ability at its finest, but Parker displays killer instinct, finesse, and spectacular offensive awareness.
Coach G-Pop won the Coach of the Year award, but he couldn’t have gotten very far without his star point guard (and vice versa).
In then end, it comes down to this: San Antonio snagged the league’s best record and did so in a very tough Western Conference. Miami’s greatest foe – the Chicago Bulls – played without its main go-to guy for over a quarter of the year and still managed to top the Heat in total games won.
A true MVP would’ve done more than second best.