"KING OF THE HILL?"

Photo by: Maria Arango

The 2012 NBA season has about 1 1/2 weeks left, and of course, all the talk has shifted to who will be the regular season “Most Valuable Player”, and the playoffs. There seems to be a consensus that Miami Heat All-star LeBron James is the favorite to win the award. He may of some competition from other players who have shown the ability to completely carry and transform their teams: KEVIN DURANT has his team (Oklahoma City Thunder) playing at a phenomenal level, and there is no question who the leader is. CHRIS PAUL has made the Los Angeles Clippers look like they have been a playoff team for years. TONY PARKER should definitely be given some consideration for the job his has done with a San Antonio Spurs team that we were all saying were “too old” and “washed up”.

Based on a recent poll I posted for fans to chime in on, “King James” is still the favorite to win the award by a large margin. Besides averaging stats such as 27.1 points (shooting 53%), 6.3 assists, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, there’s definitely a difference in this season’s version of LeBron. While he still has one of the best “sidekicks” to rely on each night in Dwayne Wade, LBJ is looking stronger than ever. Game after game, he has been the one to take his team on his back and trample over the opposing team. No question about it, he is the OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE leader on his team. In my opinion, with nagging injuries to Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Derrick Rose (Bulls), Dwayne Wade (Heat), and Dwight Howard (Magic), a large amount of his competition has been taken out of the conversation, but James still deserves the award.

But does it really matter? I was thinking this morning….how many MVP Awards has Kobe won? How many has, the greatest, Michael Jordan won? Or Larry Bird? Or Bill Russell? I know that Magic Johnson won three, but I only know that because it was mentioned on a popular sports channel this morning. Not to downplay the importance of the award, but the same can be said about many of the individual praises we give to players. Who remembers the last five NBA All-Star game MVP’s, or the last five regular season scoring champions? The truth is, sports fanatics don’t rate players based on these factors. So does this year’s MVP Award even matter?

In my COUCH SPORTS EXPERT opinion, the MVP Award is a great accomplishment, but unimportant to the LEGACY of a player. No matter the statistical accomplishments, CHAMPIONSHIPS mean EVERYTHING. I look at it like a game of DOMINOES. In our home we play the “Five-up” style of Dominoes, which means you score by 5’s. But before you can even begin accumulating points, you have to score 10 points starting off. This is how I view individual player accolades. Before we can even care about a player’s other accomplishments, they have to win a ring. For that reason, it doesn’t matter if LeBron wins the award or not. It will be his third award, and still a great honor, but HE HAS NO RINGS. Trust me, we don’t go into every new season wondering if he will win another plaque. We are looking for Championship rings. And until he earns that first one, all other statistics are irrelevant. We can entertain the voting. We can entertain the battle to the end. But there really isn’t a story here. We’ve seen him make it to this level before. We are looking for him to impress us in a different way. It’s no small feat to say that you are basically the best among your peers, but when will we see something MORE?

Send me your thoughts below…..

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