Sunday , May 29 2022
The Big Lead

The NBA MVP Almost Always Goes to the Best Player on the Best Team. This is Not One of Those Years.

The NBA Playoffs have arrived so the debate over who is the Most Valuable Player has reached a fever pitch. While the votes have been cast, the winner won’t be announced for a few more weeks, so debates will continue until moral improves. New York Times basketball writer Sopan Deb tried to get to the bottom of things by tweeting about how the NBA MVP is generally given to the “players who do the most iwth the least around them.”

This is incredibly wrong. The simplest way to say it is that the best player on the best team almost always wins the MVP. Michael Jordan, the most famous basketball player to ever live, completely erases this argument immediately. He won five MVP awards. All five playing alongside a future Hall of Famer in Scottie Pippen. The last two MVPs were won while playing with two more future Hall of Famers in Dennis Rodman and Toni Kukoc. Oh, and Ron Harper who was a 20ppg scorer for his entire career and then decided to join the Bulls and just focus on defense to win championships.

Until very recently, the players doing the most with the least who won MVP won the most games. Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic are modern exceptions where voters try to look past wins and losses. Derrick Rose, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dirk Nowitzki were all on teams that finished with the best record in their conference.

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