The Battle for MVP
Over the last few weeks, there has been article after article being published stating the case for LeBron James and Derrick Rose and who the MVP is going to be. There have also been articles published saying why either one does not deserve the award.
The one thing that people have not been picking up on, is that the award is for the "Most Valuable Player" and not "the best player."
Some people have yet to grasp this concept, so I'm here to clarify the difference between the two.
Who is Better?
If we are talking about the best player in the NBA, it has to be LeBron James. As much as I believe he doesn't have that killer instinct like Derrick Rose, or has the work ethic like Derrick Rose, there is no doubt about the fact that he is the best and most dominant player in the NBA today.
If we look at the stats, LeBron is overall the best statistical player in the NBA. He can score, pass, rebound and play defense (even though he isn't always 100 percent interested—maybe more like 90 percent).
He is truly the modern version of Oscar Robertson (I'm not comparing the two players, as Oscar is by far the better player and really one of the top 10 players in the history of the NBA. I'm just saying that they are similar in the way they dominate(d) three statistical categories).
Derrick Rose is a great player and is the most dominant point guard in the NBA. He might also be the best point guard in the league, even though you can still make legitimate arguments for Deron Williams and Chris Paul.
Now I can say I'm a diehard Chicago Bulls fan, but even I know that Derrick Rose is not (yet) the best player in the NBA. He still has a little work to do to reach that status. He is an amazing talent and is doing things we have rarely seen from a point guard. But you cannot argue the fact that LeBron is just statistically better.
But stats do not always mean everything. I never have really heard of LeBron trying to improve his outside jumper like Derrick Rose has. Derrick Rose has that killer instinct and amazing work ethic that LeBron doesn't have, that makes him a better intangibles player, but still not quite the best player.
PG Derrick Rose
If we break down the two words "most valuable," we see the true meaning behind the award.
The word "most" means "to the greatest degree." "Valuable" means "a thing that is of great worth."
So if we combine these words and add player to the phrase, we get the definition, "A player, who to the greatest degree, is that of great worth."
Nowhere in that definition does it say anything about a player being the best player.
Now, let's look at LeBron and D-Rose and figure out who is more valuable to his team.
If we look at the path these two players have came down this season, you can truly break down who is most valuable.
Derrick Rose has had a great season and has catapulted the Chicago Bulls into first in the East and only a few games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA. He is having his best statistical season out of his three seasons in the NBA.
More importantly, he has done the things that the stats can't keep track of. He has been clutch at the end of games on both sides of the court. He has made his whole team better because of his amazing play this year. He has single-handedly won games for the Bulls this year because of injuries to either Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah.
He has truly been valuable to the Bulls.
Is LBJ the MVP?
LeBron James is the two-time defending MVP and is proving again this year that he is pretty much an unstoppable force.
He was once the person who everyone disliked because he always beat up on their teams in the regular season, but has now turned into the guy everyone dislikes because of his decision during the summer.
James is having a typical "LeBron James" season, contributing in about every statistical category. He has shown time and time again that he is the most dominant player over the course of a game.
He has lacked the ability to perform in the clutch against the good teams all year long. He has had some amazing games, but a lot of those games have been against average teams, something he should do just about every time. He has turned a team that was "owned" by Dwayne Wade, into the team of the self-proclaimed "King."
He has statistically been the best player for pretty much the whole year, and even though he is valuable to the Heat, is he the most valuable?
D Rose is the MVP
The reason Derrick Rose is more valuable than LeBron James, is because of multiple reasons, but I will just state three.
1) Look at the clutch moments this year. LeBron has failed time and time again when it mattered the most. Derrick Rose has either made clutch shots or clutch assists.
He has shown against the MoHeatos that he doesn't have to score in order to be clutch. Rose believes in his teammates and trusts them to hit shots when called upon. LeBron James has tried to let others touch the ball in clutch moments, but everything still centers around LBJ and hasn't worked out as well as it has for Rose.
2) The Bulls were projected by many, to either win the Central or finish second in the Central, but overall they were supposed to be around a fifth seed. The Heat with LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh were supposed to be title contenders right out of the gate. People were proclaiming they had a shot at the single-season record for wins.
The fact of the matter is, to a certain extent, the Heat have underachieved, even at 54-23. The Bulls have proven time and time again that they belong with the best teams in the NBA and are on pace to win at least 60 games.
3) If you take LBJ off the Heat, just this year, you still have Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They would still make the playoffs. I mean, they made the playoffs last year with just Dwyane Wade. The team would still have two All-Stars.
If you take Rose off the Bulls this year, you have a team that would have C.J. Watson as a starting PG. With the injuries the Bulls have had all year, a team of C.J. Watson, Bogans/Brewer/Korver, Deng, Boozer/Gibson and Noah/Thomas/Asik would be fighting for nothing more than an eight seed. No All-Stars and who on that team would you trust to hit clutch shots or win games through all the injuries?