NBA MVP: Who's the Front-Runner?

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 27, 2010

It’s that time of year again. With just a quarter of the NBA regular season remaining, the MVP race and debates are set to heat up.

This season, the race seems to be between Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James, with the King currently leading the way.

LeBron James is the leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team with the top record in the league (46-14). Meanwhile, the Magic are fourth in the league (39-20), and the Thunder are 10th (34-23).

In the past 10 years, six of the MVP’s came from the best team in the league, two from the second, and the other two from the third. That said, the chances of Durant winning the MVP are slim to none.

Putting personal statistics in consideration, LeBron is the clear winner.

LeBron James leads the league in scoring, averaging 30 PPG, and is among the league leaders in minutes played as well. Moreover, LeBron is one of the smartest players in the league, as he is sixth in personal fouls committed, and leads all frontcourt players in assists-turnover ratio.

All around, LeBron posts the best statistics in the league, as he is the only player to nearly average a triple double every game.  

If that’s not impressive enough, LeBron is doing so on a lackluster team. James’ game has made the mediocre players around him much better. Mo Williams was a backup PG for the Bucks, but he helped transform him into an All-Star.

Moreover, James’ ability to get to the basket at will and dish out passes has given opportunities for the team’s several sharp shooters to shine.   

Finally, think about what being the league’s most valuable player means. In my mind, part of being the MVP is being the "poster boy" for the league. LeBron James is one of the most famous athletes in the world. Furthermore, his unbelievable athleticism and creative plays makes him one of the most entertaining players in the league.

James, alone, has put Cleveland on the map, and he is setting the standard for how the game should be played. Meanwhile, neither Howard nor Durant have the magnitude of impact on the sport that King James does. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. They are among the top players in the league, and have very bright futures. However, as for the MVP award, this season, LeBron is the clear front-runner to repeat, and may be so for, who knows, possibly the next decade.