Lebron was right. Well, sort of.
“It was probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me that vote.”
In fact, it wasn’t – the writer was Gary Washburn from the Boston Globe. But, he was swayed by a player for New York – Carmelo Anthony.
In this one vote, however, Gary Washburn projected himself right to the forefront of the NBA for the time being. His hometown team being out of the race, he now can be designated as the lone Lebron dissenter and will have to answer for his defiance to the press. He becomes the story.
Was this a calculated decision? He claims, no.
“…when I submitted my vote in mid-April, I had no idea I would be the only voter to leave LeBron out of first. This isn’t Mrs. Wilson’s class, I don’t walk around asking fellow sportswriters their answers to the US History quiz. I had no idea whom the writers were voting for, so this was no LeBron conspiracy.”
Yet, Washburn started off his article with this tidbit:
“When I placed my NBA MVP vote a few weeks ago, I knew I would be in the minority. I knew LeBron James was the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth award because he unquestionably is the best player in the game.”
Seems a bit contradictory. He knew he would be in the minority, but didn’t really think he would be the only one. Washburn defends his vote because he thinks this is not a “best-player-in-the-game” vote but about who meant the most to their team. And since the Knicks just won their first division title in 19 years, he’s going with Melo.
Reasonable, rational. Still, it can’t hurt that now everyone is asking why he decided to not vote for Lebron and although he has a solid answer, it is rather shocking that Lebron did net a near unanimous vote. Surely, there were other candidates who made their teams better? After all, every other voter seemed to be incapable of denying this observation themselves, so why Washburn?
I am hoping for a Knicks/Heat showdown in the Eastern Conference Finals, just for fun. It is my suspicion though that if the Knicks make it that far, they will have to get a lot more from their supporting cast than the Heat do. The Heat will appear to be on almost autopilot – that is not to discount the Bulls but let’s be serious about a team hobbling into a series with a well-rested team.
This alone attests to Lebron’s dominance in the game today. Writers can’t even make a strong argument for another player in the entire league to be recognized as an MVP. And the record does have something to do with it, too. Otherwise, you have an Andre Dawson situation in the NBA and that is something the sport doesn’t want.