The MVP Smoke Screens Are Up
A day after veteran, and league respected big-man, Miami Heat’s Juwan Howard stated that he would vote for Derrick Rose as his MVP choice, Chris Bosh also stated that he would vote for Rose.
What seems to be a sportsmanlike move, could merely be motivation to spark NBA superstar and fellow Heat teammate, LeBron James, to elevate his game for the final stretch of the season.
Juwan Howard has played many roles for Miami this season. Chris Bosh’s role has not been similar to anything he has done before in the NBA. The Miami Thrice have not been the most transparent of players in the last year. How genuine are these compliments?
First, let’s compile a list of players, fans, and writers who may have an agenda to cripple Derrick’s chances.
1. The Rondo/CP3/DWill/(soon to be Wall) fanclub – Get off you’re favorite players nuts, and just leave you displeasure with the fans. DRose did nothing to you. It’s getting old, and as far as this season is concerned, it’s not about who is the best PG in the league, it’s about who is the most valuable player this season.
2. The Western Confrence – Yes, really. The stronger side of the NBA would prefer to vote against an Eastern Confrence player in a time where stars are fleeding to the Atlantic like a new gold rush. Kobe and Durant are great, although neither have been their team’s best player for portions of this season. Now, like everyone listed, I’m not saying EVERYONE has an agenda against Rose, or the East, but little love has not come from the West, if at all season.
3. The Edu-crats – Every player should go to college, nobody should be paid to play in the NCAA, ect. There’s an edu-crat inside of anyone who believes their degree makes them a better human than someone without. Yes, LeBron didn’t go to college, but Derrick Rose cheated his way out of high school. It’s old news, even debated into the ground at the peak interest of the scoop. Old but not forgotten, as it’s still fuel against Rose.
4. LeBron James – I don’t believe Heat teammates are going to come out and vote for Rose over LeBron. Something is up with this move. If they all support LeBron, it’s not news. If they tell the media that Rose is their favorite, it’s a headline of its own. Almost like telling Derrick, no pressure man, no pressure, but you HAVE to win. It’s friendly trash talk at its finest.
5. ESPN – Aside from a tiny handful who may have turned into Rose’s biggest supporters throughout this season. With the Bulls not being relevant for since Jordan, most of ESPN has swayed basketball writing towards markets that win. Now that the Bulls are in contention, expect the writing to change throughout the major news sites to give the Bulls more credit. Just don’t expect it to happen fast enough to help Derrick’s cause this season. In a perfect world for the NBA, this race should be close. A runaway win for LeBron would be a boring headline for his 3rd straight MVP, in a season where he has become one of the most hated players in sports.
Now let’s compile a list of common arguments against Rose.
1. The Bulls Defense – Does Derrick need to work on his defense? Yes, although if the Bulls win with his average defense, I don’t see why he NEEDS to change. but yes, it’s the weaker part of his game.
2. P E R – Player Efficiency Rating. Noted, Derrick needs to work on his efficiency. Right now he’s 13th in the league. Although if you need a counterpoint, Derrick’s PER over the last 20 games is a blistering 30.6.
3. He’s to quiet/reserved – Okay, I can see this argument being valid. Although ever report I have ever read says that Derrick is the life of the locker room, even during all-star weekend. It’s only in front of the media where he acts reserved. The humble demeanor is as genuine as it gets.
4. He doesn’t get to the line – Yeah, no duh. It’s no secret that you can hack at Derrick and get away with it. For anyone who makes this argument, you either have; a. Not seen more than a few Bulls games. b. Need glasses. c. Drink too much. D. All of the above.
5. He’s a Point Guard – Seriously? I don’t know why this is an argument. The MVP has been won by PGs in the past. But some people think PGs that win MVPs need to be true PGs, like Steve Nash, Gary Payton, Isiah Thomas. Yeah, so he’s the first guy to get the ball and set up the offense by default. I just don’t see this argument holding water under the MVP scope. At least not in a league where more and more players are redefining traditional positions.
6. He’s too young – This argument is more along the lines of Derrick not having seniority in the league. Other players who have made a name for themselves that are in the conversation will get more votes because they have simply been carrying their team for a longer period of time. Basically a sympathy vote for guys who maybe should have won MVP in the past, but lost because of a clear winner. If the guy was that good, he’ll be a hall of famer in the end. Sure I can feel for all of the past players who didn’t win titles and awards because of the handful of dynasties in NBA history. You can’t muster up a case for them this season, when you’re voting for last season’s efforts.
Playing in the second half, politics will take their place as each potential candidate will have to do just as much off the court, as on the court, to give themselves an edge in each of the voter’s minds.
Not without his own critics, LeBron James may have a larger docket against an MVP bid this season. If he gets snubbed, Derrick should definately swoop in and get the honors. Remember, this is Chicago sports, we win ugly sometimes. Heck, we win ugly a lot of times. But an ugly win in an MVP vote, is still a MVP at the end of the day.