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Old 09-07-2013, 01:49 AM   #1
SamuraiSWISH
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Default LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

LeBron has been MVP caliber since 2009. Who are the legit competitors to the throne?

He's had aging past his prime Kobe as competition for a season or two in 2009, 2010. He had peak Wade, and then two seasons later were on the same team. By the time LeBron was good enough, all the bigs like Garnett, Duncan and Dirk were on the decline. Melo was hyped as competitor for awhile, but honestly he doesn't impact the game the way these other guys do.

The only real competitor to the MVP title is Durant. And long shot in Chris Paul. When he was healthy, obviously D-Rose was allowed to steal one.

For comparison sakes, since '88 when MJ became MVP caliber he had to face:

Bird, Magic, and Isiah maybe just past their peak / primes. As well as ...

Peak: Barkley, Drexler, Hakeem, Ewing, David Robinson, Nique, Karl Malone

And Prime: Shaq, Zo, Hill, GP and Penny.

In perspective, does this make LeBron's MVPs slightly less impressive in your opinion?
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Durant has the potential to be a top 10 player of all time. I think it's not his fault that he's way better than some of his peers.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Age 28:

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Old 09-07-2013, 01:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebron23
Durant has the potential to be a top 10 player of all time. I think it's not his fault that he's way better than some of his peers.
No, we're talking about the quality of the other players individually in the league. The only other one that could compete on that MVP level was well past his prime Kobe, and Dwyane Wade ... whom LeBron decided to join up with.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Personally, I think way too much emphasis is put on the MVP trophy these days. I could be remembering it incorrectly, but there was very little hype for these things in the 80s and 90s. The announcements would happen and be met with a general "meh" from most sports fans.

I don't remember having a single debate with anyone at any time regarding MVPs of that era. Even when Barkley and Malone were each thrown a bone during Jordan's dominance, no one really cared very much. It was, "whatever, let's see what happens in the playoffs."

Now, MVP trophies are being used as proof that Player A is better than Player B. For today's sports fans which seem to have an unprecedented distrust of the media in general and sports media in particular, it seems to me that we're putting a lot of faith into these guys knowing who the best player in the league is every year.


To answer your question directly...

James has been the clear best player in the league for some time now. Hell, I was arguing he had a legitimate gripe for the award as early as 2006. Other worthy candidates have been pretty sparse.

With Jordan, I honestly believed he became the best player in the league in 1987 and remained as such until his second retirement. The fact that he did so across multiple eras of players is a testament to his greatness.

Actual MVP trophies though? I don't put a ton of stock into them, mainly because I think the national sports media is pretty hopeless.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Irving and Howard have the potential..you already named Melo Durant and Paul as others. I know people are set on to Howard And Melo to already had their shot/lack dominance but it is still a possibility. Heck even Rose could come back...regardless I do not see anyone else in this league that would get MVP in the next few years.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaulding
Irving and Howard have the potential..you already named Melo Durant and Paul as others. I know people are set on to Howard And Melo to already had their shot/lack dominance but it is still a possibility. Heck even Rose could come back...regardless I do not see anyone else in this league that would get MVP in the next few years.
If Irving ever reaches the point where he's vying for an MVP trophy, I'm thinking it will be after James is past his prime. Irving is only 21 and he has a long way to go. I could see a guy like Harden or a healthy Rose easily stealing MVPs in the next couple years.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiSWISH
No, we're talking about the quality of the other players individually in the league. The only other one that could compete on that MVP level was well past his prime Kobe, and Dwyane Wade ... whom LeBron decided to join up with.


Past his prime Kobe is still a great player. Kobe is one of the most durable players in NBA History. He's like the Karl Malone of the Shooting Guard position. At the age of 34 he's still is one of the best scorers in the league.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
Actual MVP trophies though? I don't put a ton of stock into them, mainly because I think the national sports media is pretty hopeless.

Not that I disagree (I'm not a big accolades guy in general), but what about the MVP through 79-80 (last season when it was voted on by players)? The Sporting News (TSN) NBA Player of the Year actually continued for a while, and was voted on by the players through 01, and again from 09-11 (02-08 front office personnel voted, and TSN has been absorbed by AOL since then and the award no longer exists):

81 Julius Erving
82 Moses Malone
83 Moses Malone
84 Bernard King
85 Larry Bird
86 Larry Bird
87 Magic Johnson
88 Michael Jordan
89 Michael Jordan
90 Charles Barkley
91 Michael Jordan
92 Michael Jordan
93 Charles Barkley
94 Hakeem Olajuwon
95 David Robinson
96 Michael Jordan
97 Michael Jordan
98 Michael Jordan
99 Karl Malone
00 Shaquille O'Neal
01 Allen Iverson
02 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
03 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
04 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
05 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
06 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
07 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
08 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
09 LeBron James
10 LeBron James
11 Derrick Rose
12 Award Discontinued
13 Award Discontinued

Not much better, but voting by your peers should hold some more weight than polling by sportswriters IMO.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpliii
Not that I disagree (I'm not a big accolades guy in general), but what about the MVP through 79-80 (last season when it was voted on by players)? The Sporting News (TSN) NBA Player of the Year actually continued for a while, and was voted on by the players through 01, and again from 09-11 (02-08 front office personnel voted, and TSN has been absorbed by AOL since then and the award no longer exists):

81 Julius Erving
82 Moses Malone
83 Moses Malone
84 Bernard King
85 Larry Bird
86 Larry Bird
87 Magic Johnson
88 Michael Jordan
89 Michael Jordan
90 Charles Barkley
91 Michael Jordan
92 Michael Jordan
93 Charles Barkley
94 Hakeem Olajuwon
95 David Robinson
96 Michael Jordan
97 Michael Jordan
98 Michael Jordan
99 Karl Malone
00 Shaquille O'Neal
01 Allen Iverson
02 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
03 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
04 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
05 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
06 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
07 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
08 Award Voted on by FO Personnel
09 LeBron James
10 LeBron James
11 Derrick Rose
12 Award Discontinued
13 Award Discontinued

Not much better, but voting by your peers should hold some more weight than polling by sportswriters IMO.
I have to say, I'm not wild about the "peers vote" method either and here's why...

Players are worried about their own games and the games of their team, not what other elite players are doing around the league on a nightly basis. Some teams out West will only see Eastern Conference teams a couple times a year. Should I just assume they're keeping tabs and watching every player in the league every single night after their games are over (and on off nights)?

I get that these guys know first-hand who the most difficult players to go against truly are, but that isn't the only factor that plays into an MVP. It's also about consistency, how that elite play translates into team performance (wins/losses), etc.


To me, if the NBA wanted this award to truly gain credibility, here's how you do it...

Put together a 20-25 person panel which includes ex-players, ex-coaches and maybe one or two truly respected sports writers who are maybe at the end of their careers. There would be a screening process to ensure a deep understanding of the game itself, not just popularity based on hyping a few players.

This panel would be employed by the NBA for the season and their job is to dictate award finalists and winners... Not just MVP, but ROY, 6th Man, etc.

That's the only way I can think of where I'd actually respect the voting process.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

MVP for the last decade has a lot of credibility since Nash won 2, and Rose won one.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiSWISH

He's had aging past his prime Kobe as competition for a season or two in 2009,

The only real competitor to the MVP title is Durant. And long shot in Chris Paul. When he was healthy, obviously D-Rose was allowed to steal one.

For comparison sakes, since '88 when MJ became MVP caliber he had to face:

Bird, Magic, and Isiah maybe just past their peak / primes. As well as ...

Peak: Barkley, Drexler, Hakeem, Ewing, David Robinson, Nique, Karl Malone

And Prime: Shaq, Zo, Hill, GP and Penny.

In perspective, does this make LeBron's MVPs slightly less impressive in your opinion?

this "past prime" Kobe was beyond better than everybody MJ was competing against for the MVP outside of Hakeem and Kobe is arguable my least favorite player of all time.

winning the MVP award in 2009 against Kobe who was a year remote from his best season IMO, Wade who had an amazing year, CP3 who had an amazing year, Dirk turned up, and Dwight than what Jordan went through in 1998
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
I have to say, I'm not wild about the "peers vote" method either and here's why...

Players are worried about their own games and the games of their team, not what other elite players are doing around the league on a nightly basis. Some teams out West will only see Eastern Conference teams a couple times a year. Should I just assume they're keeping tabs and watching every player in the league every single night after their games are over (and on off nights)?

I get that these guys know first-hand who the most difficult players to go against truly are, but that isn't the only factor that plays into an MVP. It's also about consistency, how that elite play translates into team performance (wins/losses), etc.


To me, if the NBA wanted this award to truly gain credibility, here's how you do it...

Put together a 20-25 person panel which includes ex-players, ex-coaches and maybe one or two truly respected sports writers who are maybe at the end of their careers. There would be a screening process to ensure a deep understanding of the game itself, not just popularity based on hyping a few players.

This panel would be employed by the NBA for the season and their job is to dictate award finalists and winners... Not just MVP, but ROY, 6th Man, etc.

That's the only way I can think of where I'd actually respect the voting process.

Good answer. I think it is inherently flawed, and even the players have made some poor selections.

Your proposal of a panel would give the awards some legitimacy (especially if the sportswriters are the Bob Ryans of the world), but I think for the purpose of the board making those changes would welcome these lame comparisons. The OP is clearly trolling, but accolades without context are essentially meaningless, and really shouldn't come into play when comparing two guys side-by-side. Narrative can be great, but hardware doesn't always tell as complete as story as we'd like of actual performance on the floor.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpliii
Good answer. I think it is inherently flawed, and even the players have made some poor selections.

Your proposal of a panel would give the awards some legitimacy (especially if the sportswriters are the Bob Ryans of the world), but I think for the purpose of the board making those changes would welcome these lame comparisons. The OP is clearly trolling, but accolades without context are essentially meaningless, and really shouldn't come into play when comparing two guys side-by-side. Narrative can be great, but hardware doesn't always tell as complete as story as we'd like of actual performance on the floor.
I agree.

We know who the best players are in the league in a given year. I don't need something that should be relatively obvious to be validated by an award.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:32 AM   #15
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Default Re: LeBron's lack of MVP caliber competition

Lebron's competition only looks puny because of how great he is. that's how dominant Lebron is. when people consider CP3, Rose, Durant, and even Dwight to some extent as puny, you know Lebron is gotta be fkn dominant.
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