Every year as the NBA season comes to a close, one of the big debates around the league is who should win the MVP award. Usually, the award comes down to two superstars, with two or three other players as the “dark horses”. This year the debate was between Russell Westbrook and James Harden, while the dark horses were guys such as Lebron James and Kawhi Leonard. Something about this previous sentence shouldn’t sit well with you; the fact that Lebron James is an outlier in the MVP should appall you. James is in this same position seemingly every year, and it just doesn’t make sense. The best player on the planet, and arguably the best player ever, seems to never make it into the MVP discussion. Lebron has won 4 MVP awards, yet he hasn’t won since the 2012-2013; in the time span since that last MVP award, Lebron hasn’t even been considered in the top two of the MVP race. We take Lebron’s greatness for granted and it needs to stop because sooner or later he won’t be able to perform like this.
If the 2017 NBA playoffs have taught us anything, it is that Lebron is the best player. As much as we would like to say that Westbrook’s triple doubles or Harden’s offensive wizardry makes them the best, Lebron’s impact on the court is incomparable. No ordinary man can do what he does. No ordinary man can lead their team to six straight NBA finals. No ordinary man can lead their team back from 3-1 down in the NBA finals against the team with the best regular season ever. Only the best player can do that. In the 2017 playoffs, Lebron has looked like a man on a mission. The Cavaliers are 8-0 in playoffs so far with a spot in the conference finals already locked up. Lebron, though, has looked rejuvenated: he is averaging 34.4 PPG, 7.1 APG, and 9 RPG. Along with these unreal numbers, Lebron is shooting 66% in the paint, while the best Shaq ever shot in the playoffs is 62%. If this doesn’t impress you already then consider the fact that Lebron is shooting 47% from the the three point line and the best Stephen Curry has ever shot is 46%. Lebron is a 6’8 combination of Shaq and Steph. Let that sink in for a second. He makes the outstanding seem normal.
The Cavaliers are one of the best teams in the league because of Lebron. Without him, they might not be a playoff team. Shouldn’t the MVP award be given to the player who makes the biggest impact on their team? In my eyes, that is Lebron this year and every year. He makes Deron Williams and Richard Jefferson seem like the players they were back in their prime. In Lebron’s worst statistical year of career he averaged 27.3 PPG, 6.7 APG, and 6 RPG in just his fourth season. If that is a player’s “worst” season then sign me up because that is unbelievable. However, with James, the unbelievable becomes the norm, and that is why he doesn’t win MVP. While others stand out for breakout seasons, Lebron flies under the radar for his consistently stellar play. Make sure to witness what Lebron is doing because we might never see this again; and make sure to vote Lebron as your MVP for as long as he plays because he continues to defy all odds.