Skip to main content

NBA MVP Race, and Right To Be Called "Superstar"


There are many who very worthy of the NBA's Most Valuable Player for this season. A viable argument can be made for LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, all players who bring forth impressive resumes as candidates for the honor of the NBA's top award. 

For me, my selection for MVP is indeed Westbrook. Don't get me wrong, the others, as stated above, anyone can make a very good case for. In fact, you can even go as far as saying LeBron James is the game's MVP every single time he touches a basketball court. I'd be totally cool with that if that were the situation and angle you want to take in this role.  

But back to Westbrook. I am completely buying in on the season he's put together. Everything about this season, and everything he has done screams "valuable" in my eyes. The impressive triple-double record, the super-impressive accomplishment of averaging - AVERAGING! - a triple double, and the super-duper impressive task of carrying a roster, franchise, and city on his back in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure.

And while I do agree with James Harden's comments that "wins" and "winning" should surely play a factor into the MVP race (Harden's Rockets are set to finish with 54 wins, more than Westbrook's Thunder at 48), again for me, there is just that impressive ability of what a triple-double represents - a holistic contribution to one's team - that, in my eyes, puts him over the others.

Of course, Rocket's general manager, Daryl Morey took to Twitter to back his guy. Though, will say, he has a point. More on that in a bit.


Also, admittedly, Westbrook is one of my favorite athletes to watch. The dude is so explosive and athletic. You combine that with his fiery, almost furious-like, demeanor, and it just makes for great entertainment. For an awe-inspiring experience. 

With that said, if there is one thing I believe this race, discussion, and overall debate does, is shed light on the NBA's entitlement culture it fosters and presents. A league built on and around stars, too often we hear the phrase "superstar" used for players. I'm sure you can think of a few not worthy of the title. 

This year's race puts some perspective on the phrase, and how it ought to be used. In a culture now built around AAU basketball's ridiculousness, celebrating "tanking", and a lousy All-Star game exhibition, this MVP race really rises those who are indeed invaluable players to their teams. Players who make their teammates better and win. Players who are winners. Not just the best player on a given team. 

When Kevin Durant leaves town, Westbrook continues to carry the burden to make sure his team does just that - win. Because that's what superstars do. That's what MVP's do. 

Regardless of who your MVP candidate (or favorite) is, chances are, between James, Leonard, Harden, and Westbrook, you can't go wrong. But what's becoming clearer is that there are superstars in this league, and pretenders. And it's time the NBA culture begins to truly acknowledge these players in a classification of their own. 

Recently Read Posts

Dear Son, Prior Generation

--22 Days Old---

Dear Son,

It's been three weeks since you entered this world, and ever since then, you've given us joy, smiles, love, countless Google searches, plenty of shoulder shrug I-give-up moments, countless "spit-up" shower/laundry drills (we have this down now - it's such a tight operation), a lifetime subscription to sleep deficiency and an immediate annoyance to parenting advice from those who wish to give it unsolicited.

But you know what, between all the unknowns, the shrugs, and the fatigue, you flash a moments smile, and we're back in the game. And if we capture it on our phones, it's like a bases loaded, 3 RBI, triple.

Yet, as the days peel off the calendar board, and sunrises and sunsets aren't exactly lining up mentally in our place in comparison to earth's time continuum, this third week of your existence brought you visitors - your first! - in the likes of your grandparents.

By now, you probably know you are lucky and that yo…

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #81-90

81. If you could enact one law in your country that does not currently exist, what would it be?

There would actually be quite a few. However, I would go with gun control. Nothing too elaborate, but the type of control that requires screening and effective security of allowing firearm usage in this country. 
82. If you could own only one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
I would probably choose a good pair of pants. Weird? Yes, most definitely. But a good pair of pants sets the tone, and for a big and tall guy like myself, dictates the comfort for the day. As hard as pants are to find for us big guys, I'd like to own one pair, thus renting or borrowing everything else. If you happen to be one of those folks that has your perfect pants size in every store, you most likely won't understand this.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/8/18

3 Up

1. Independence Day - So, it wasn't on a weekend. And it yes, if you look passed the shady propaganda of immense filtered propaganda, there is some real ish there. However, despite it's imperfection, oppression, and disregard for truth, America is great. Happy Birthday to a special nation!

2. Boys Rescue in Thailand - As of this post, only four of the thirteen boys have been saved. However, the rescue missions have captured the world in the lengthy and tremendously daring attempts to save these boys. The quest will continue well into next week.

3. Golden State Warriors - I wrote about it this past week (Applaud the Golden State Warriors), but these dudes just added another - ANOTHER - all-star! As mentioned, what the Warriors are doing in the modern era of sports, and salary caps, and of course, egos, is absolutely tremendous.

3 Down

1. Race-Blind" Admissions - I can't believe this hasn't gotten more push in talks on the mainstream front. This administration i…

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/15/18

3 Up

1. Thailand Boys Rescued - This story was captivating, and even becomes downright addictively intriguing when you really get into the research methods used to save these boys and their coaches. And let us not forget some of the fatalities that occurred to get this done as well.

2. World Cup - How absolutely phenomenal was this event? I'm already sad to see it go. With a newborn in tow for myself, I watched so much of it, and it all, was so, so, so good. Best in my lifetime, for sure. Congratulations to France - albeit via immigrants of African nations. But that's a different message for another post on immigration hypocrisy.

3. Isner vs. Anderson - 6 Hours and 36 Minutes. Just as great as the World Cup has been, Wimbledon was just as fantastic. Isner and Anderson provided an absolute classic.

3 Down

1. Papa John - This dude is an absolute clown. This story is such a reminder of how these scenarios only result in action due to public backlash. And of course, how recording, …