Let me just start off by saying Lebron James is the most talented player by far in the NBA. It’s not even close.
But talent isn’t everything. Wilt Chamberlain was more talented than Bill Russell, but Russell was the better overall player. The MVP award is not given to the most talented player or the best player in the league. It’s given to the most valuable player. Is Lebron James the most valuable player to his team this season?
I say no.
The Los Angeles Clippers are currently the third seed in the Western Conference. Led by the best point guard in the NBA, Chris Paul, they are contenders. The Clippers had won only one playoff series in their entire franchise history before Paul showed up last season. Is Lebron a better overall player than Paul? Sure he is, but he’s not anywhere near as valuable to the Miami Heat as Paul is to the Clippers.
Without Paul, the Clippers miss the playoffs.
Then there are two other players that are ahead of James for MVP: Paul Pierce and Kevin Durant.
Pierce may be aging, but since Rajon Rondo‘s injury, he looks 10 years younger. Pierce hits crucial shots in the fourth quarter and at the end of games, something James doesn’t do. What makes it even more impressive is that he’s doing it without Ray Allen as well. Without Pierce, the Boston Celtics would miss the playoffs.
Durant, like Paul, is easily ahead of James as far as value. He also lost a great teammate in James Harden, but the Oklahoma City Thunder just keep rolling; they currently sit at second place in the Western Conference. To add to the fact that Durant lost Harden, he also has to play with Russell Westbrook, whose shoot-first type of play and “me first” attitude would put a damper on any team.
James may be having the best season, but he is surrounded with the best talent: two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade, the greatest three-point shooter of all time in Allen, one of the best power forwards in Chris Bosh and so much more. Let’s also not forget about Mario Chalmers as well; his fourth-quarter closing ability is at least as good as Lebron’s, if not better. I don’t know why, but even after nearly 10 seasons in the NBA, James still has trouble with free throws and clutch shooting. Without him, the Heat would still make the playoffs, so that is why he is not the MVP.
If the MVP award is for best season, it’s Lebron. But it’s not. It’s for most valuable. The most valuable players so far are Paul, Pierce and Durant.