Feb 11, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (left) attempts to pass the ball defended by Houston Rockets guard James Harden (right) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Some say it means the player who brings the best out in those around him ON AND OFF the court. If that was the case than Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker would have won MVP’s. Of note: none of these players ever won a regular season MVP.
Best leader: if this is the case then why didn’t Kevin Garnett win more or why didn’t Chris Paul ever win one?
Raised the team to a level above what was expected or projected. Again, I refer to Kobe, Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups.
Did more with less: Allen Iverson perhaps is the best example in this scenario given his diminutive size. Last season Kevin Durant finally won the award, but many said he received it either due to voter fatigue or because they cited the fact Russell Westbrook missed so many games. However, if Westbrook had been healthy all year would Durant still not have deserved it, given his season? I’ve always found it curious that at the time Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were considered top 10 (arguably top 5 by some) LeBron James was still winning MVP.
Suffice to say the award doesn’t follow a common trend, so we can’t just base the decision on one factor. My own personal opinion is the MVP shouldn’t automatically go to the player on the team with the best record simply because that team might be loaded with other talent.
Looking back at Steve Nash‘s back to back MVP seasons he embodied (for me) what the award meant. Each player on the Suns had either career best seasons or improved dramatically. Further, I saw Nash take critical game winning shots in games Phoenix should have lost. The combination of those two factors for me meant he deservedly won MVP.
Next: What are the Pundits saying?