Dwyane Wade for MVP: The Reality

Zack KingstadContributor IMarch 31, 2009

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  (L-R) Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, members of the women's and men's gold medal winning USA Olympic basketball teams, wave to the crowd during half time of the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

How does one choose an MVP these days? 

How does one define MVP? 

When picking your MVP candidate what makes you say, “Hey they should be MVP!”?

Is it because he’s the most fun to watch?

Is it because their team has the best record?

Or is it based solely on individual statistics?

Well, let’s go over our options and then try and figure out what the panel will do this year.

Based upon watch ability, fans could make severe cases for LeBron, Wade, Kobe or CP3.  Each of them have padded NBA Highlight reels since they’ve joined the league.  Then again, if the MVP was based upon highlights, Vince would’ve won it a time or two I think.

A few weeks back the race in my mind was between Kobe and LeBron, and at the time I was leaning towards LeBron although his team didn’t have the better record of the two.  His individual performance and how he molds it into Basketball (a team sport), is dare I say unrivaled? 

Don’t get me wrong—Kobe’s my favorite player and has been for the past 10 years or so now. But I’ve learned more from watching LeBron in five years than I have in my entire life of watching all of sports. 

It all has to do with his thought process and how he penetrates to draw in defenders like white blood cells to an infection, while seemingly with ease dishing to a wide open “teammate.”  It seems so easy when you watch him, the game almost seems to flow effortlessly when he really applies himself.

Kobe on the other hand, it always looks hard for to me.  Not that his physical effort is what makes it look difficult, but the fact that more often than not someone’s in his face and he’s shooting over them.  The degree of difficulty on his in game shots day-in and day-out are surpassed by none in today’s game.

Now having said that, who deserves MVP?  The guy who perhaps the game just flows for, or the man who has to force his will upon his opponents?

It’s honestly a tough call and one of the many reasons that this year’s MVP candidate is highly debatable amongst most NBA fans.

Looking at individual stats I’d go LeBron, Wade, and then Kobe.  Problem for Wade when it comes to looking at this aspect is that LeBron and Kobe are on the teams with the best records. 

As a result of being the best, both in terms of records and margins of victory, the stars sit out the fourth quarter often.  This I feel skews the stats aspect against Wade’s favor.  You know if Kobe and LeBron, whom I know both have at least ten fourth-quarter no-plays this year, would’ve played at least another 80-90 minutes. 

It’s hard to debate stats for Wade, when you take the aforementioned into account. 

Having said that, Wade I feel may have perhaps had the best season out of the three.  He’s led his team to the fifth spot in the East, which isn’t an easy task considering who surrounds him.

Wade’s arguably been the most fun to watch this year, but being realistic I don’t see Wade beating out either Kobe or LeBron, who are both set to win 60 games. 

Meanwhile, if Miami wins out at this point they’ll be at the 50-win mark, which I doubt they’ll do.  I’d say more down the lines of 45 to 47 wins is more realistic.

For Heat fans, it’s a harsh world—but it was in the past too, for Kobe fans.

Moving on to defining an MVP. 

Of course defining an MVP is subjective and difficult to do.  But when I think of Most Valuable Player, I think of “Most Valuable to their individual teams.” Years ago, I thought that was Kobe for two or three seasons of them. 

Maybe it’s just me, but the Lakers without Kobe for a bit there were no way above .500, while the Suns without Nash would’ve been Amare, Diaw, Marion, Bell and Barbosa—still easily a legit playoff team in my eyes. 

But obviously I don’t get to choose who the MVP is, so that leaves us with the dilemma of trying to guesstimate how the league will go about making its choice.

At this point and time now of writing this article (March 25), I’d say you have to give it to LeBron hands down.  He’s statistically amazing, while also holding down the best record in the NBA, which says a lot.

I don’t see Kobe winning it this year, because he’s statistically weaker then LeBron or Wade.  We’ll see how it all plays out, though. 

I think it’s sad how the NBA goes about it. The fact that I’ve been thinking about writing this article for a month or two indicates the league and media making way too much of it, too early on in the season.

I feel that the MVP shouldn’t be named until after the playoffs are completed, because the regular season means nothing if you get swept right off the bat. 

A "what if" for the NBA fans out there.  What if Wade takes Miami to the Finals and wins it? 

There’s no doubt in my mind at that point that he should be named MVP of the league. 

But unfortunately for him, the MVP would’ve already been named LeBron James.