Jeremy MasonCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2008

With the season about two-thirds over, everybody is talking about the same old thing: That minuscule award that only the fans really care about.

That undefined, irrelevant, overrated award that allegedly is given to the most valuable player of the NBA season.

Perhaps the award would mean more if it actually followed some template-- if it had some specific criteria outlining its recipients.

But it doesn't.

Some say the award goes to the best player in the NBA.

Wrong. Were that the case, the conversation would only consist of LeBron and Kobe every year.

Some say the award goes to the best player on the best team.

Again this is incorrect.  Otherwise Tim Duncan would have a shelf-full of them. Or maybe Chauncey Billups would.

Some say the award goes to the player that makes his teammates the best. This may be getting closer, however nobody can argue that Dirk deserved it more than Nash last year if this were so.

Well, nobody really knows what exactly the award means. So when I decided to join the debate by writing this article, I came up with a criteria of my own:

The award should go to the player who gets the most done, with the least help. If this player were taken from his respective team, they would be sunk.

So, no offense to Kobe Bryant who is, in my mind at least, the best all-around player the NBA has seen since MJ


No offense to Steve Nash who is not only my favorite player, but also the most creative offensive mind since Pete Maravich. Anybody who knows basketball knows that he exemplifies efficiency on the scoring end of the court.

No offense to Tim Duncan, who is in the conversation for being the best power forward in NBA history, and has had his team atop the league his entire career.

No offense to Kevin Garnett who, despite being a great all-around big man, is perhaps only the third most valuable player on his own team.

No offense to Chris Paul who is giving Nash serious competition as the best PG in the NBA.

No offense to Yao Ming who is having his best season to date, and finally emerging as the great center he has the potential to be. (Even though if his team misses the playoffs, one could argue he fits the criteria I have specified due to his recent season-ending injury.)

No offense to Dirk Nowitzki. Although I continue to question whether he deserved the award last year, he is an offensive machine, and has made huge strides in his post-play, while continuing to be the most deadly sharpshooting big man in the NBA.

No offense to Carlos Boozer who continues to make me pull my hair out every time his team plays my Suns, and simply wow me every other game.

No offense to Baron Davis who is the unquestioned leader of the quickest, most frenetic offensive team in the NBA.

No offense to Dwight Howard who has developed into the best center in the NBA, while leading his team to the 3rd spot in the East.

No offense to Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rasheed Wallace who probably suffer in the MVP voting simply because they play on the same team.

No offense to AI or Carmelo who are both among the top five scorers in the NBA.

No offense to any other great player who I have left out.

In my mind, the award has only one worthy recipient. LeBron James is without doubt the player in the NBA who is most valuable to his team. Without LeBron, Cleveland wouldn't make the playoffs, even in the lowly eastern conference.

Without LeBron, the best Cavalier would be an old 13 point, 9 board a night center (Zydrunas Ilgauskus) that cannot create his own shot.

LeBron puts up 30.2 points, 8.1 boards, and 7.5 assists per game. He leads the league in scoring, and has immensely improved at the defensive end.

Take him away and the Cavaliers are in the conversation with Miami, Memphis, and Minnesota for being the worst team in the NBA.

With him, they are among Boston, Detroit and Orlando as the only teams contending for the Eastern Conference Title.

LeBron should have won the MVP last year when he took his team farther than even they believed they could go. Unfortunately the MVP doesn't include the playoffs.

Even so, NBA fans—don't make the same mistake again.

LeBron led his team to the playoffs and eventually the Finals last year, by himself. This year he is doing the same.

LeBron is hands down, my MVP thus far, and barring a serious injury (God forbid), I see no reason why that would change.