Can we just dispense with the 2012-13 NBA Most Valuable Player voting and hand the Maurice Podoloff trophy to LeBron James? By the way, if you’re wondering, Podoloff was the league’s first president (now commissioner) and the award is indeed named after him. With the safe assumption it is his for the taking, this would have been James fifth consecutive such MVP recognition had it not been for a young Bull by the name of Derrick Rose. D. Rose interrupted the streak in 2010-11. Perhaps at the time, the second year point guard from Chicago was protecting the honor of another pretty good hoopster from the Windy City with the initials M.J. Michael Jordan won a total of 5 MVP’s. That total may come close to being doubled by the Miami Heat forward before he’s through. But we’ll take a look at the best ever argument later.
So what has LeBron done for you lately? Heading into last Sundays All Star Weekend in Houston he had posted 7 games in a row scoring at least 30 points. That is a Miami franchise record. During the streak, one game stands out in particular and also has a
Jordan angle to it. On February 4th he shot 13-14 (93%) from the field against the M.J. owned Charlotte Bobcats. He was 5-6 from the charity stripe for a total of 31 points. He failed to hit a 3 pointer in that one, which is one of the few times LBJ hasn’t hit at least one from beyond the arc this season.
That brings us to another reason he is the best player this year. His perimeter game has improved greatly. He was always capable of the driving layup and spectacular slam dunks, but now he seems to almost effortlessly hit 15-20 foot jumpers or the long trey as well.
The streak of 30 or more points ended on February 20th when he scored “only” 24. However, his assist total of 11 in that contest versus Atlanta was above his season average of 7. Had he shot successfully 3 or 4 more times instead of passing, another 30 point total would have appeared on the stats sheet. It also shows his willingness to share the ball with his teammates. It is no coincidence that the Heat has won 9 straight in conjunction with “King James” exemplary play and lead the Eastern Conference by 5.5 games over the second place Knicks.
James is currently averaging 27 points, 8 rebounds and those 7 assists. His field goals made percentage of 57 from the field and 42 from three point range are career bests. He is averaging just less than 40 minutes a night (38.4) and at times seems to simply “will” a victory by himself.
In a word, the man is “unstoppable”.
As far as the best ever, it’s a tough call. I for one believe longevity and championships have their place. At the age of 28, LeBron Raymone James has been in the league for 9 years, straight out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. He has one title to his name, in a strike shortened season at that. Do I doubt he will surpass Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnsons total of 5 or Jordan’s 6 championships? Not at all, but until he does, I’ll reserve judgment on his legacy.
Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury and surgery on his meniscus wasn’t necessarily a shock considering what we know about ACL recoveries — but most reaction was generally pretty dramatic, and “shocked” is a word that could describe it. For the first time in a while, basically every journalist, fan and commentator forgot about their fantasy teams or click-grabbing #HotSportsTakes and simply felt bad for the talent that any true basketball fan loves watching fly around the court like the ethereal phenomenon that Rose is.
It is quite the paradox indeed that a professional sports best ever player could, in fact, be its worst administrator. However that appears to be the case when it comes to Michael Jordan. Viewed by many as the greatest player to wear a pair of Nike’s or any other type shoe for that matter, it is quickly becoming the opinion of those same individuals that he is a terrible boss.
By R. Hoyal
When D. J. Stephens jumps, the record books ask how high. From his humble beginning in Killeen, Texas, D.J. has grown to a rising star in basketball. At his recent workout with the Brooklyn Nets, this 6’5” small forward leapt to the amazing height of 46-inches during his vertical jump. …