On June 25th of 2018 (almost three months after the end of the regular season and a month since the defending champs eliminated the Houston Rockets in the playoffs), James Harden was awarded the NBA MVP award during the NBA Award Show I find entertaining but wish would go away (even if meant we wouldn’t get great moments like Bill Russell giving Charles Barkley the middle finger on live TV). Besides the timing of the event, the show robs us of having memorable moments like Kevin Durant’s long and emotional MVP speech to his Mom and every single one of his teammates in 2014 and awkward ones like Dirk receiving a MVP award right after the Mavs shocking first-round loss to the We Believe Warriors in 2007.
As for KD’s former teammate winning MVP this season, I don’t have an issue with it but I’m with Richard Jefferson, who once told me, “people always look at stats and every year people are going to get excited over this year’s sexy numbers (and narratives). Pop could be coach of the year, every year, but so and so did this or that or something unexpected, so that coach wins. People have gotten used to seeing LeBron’s greatness,” and that’s why LeBron is the real MVP every season. The same could be said about Michael Jordan for much of the 90s and Shaq in the early to mid 00s.
I was going to put together a list of players who can make a case they were robbed of the award, then remembered Mike Korzemba already did it in this great video. I don’t agree with all of the picks but I will say it’s crazy that Steve Nash and Steph Curry each have as many MVP awards as Kobe and Shaq combined and Kobe probably shouldn’t have won the MVP he did end up winning (Chris Paul agrees).
And even though I grew up a Converse-wearing Magic Johnson fan, I agree with the ring-less Charles Barkley on him being robbed during the 1989/90 season; Barkley actually received more first place votes (38-27) than Magic and only lost by 22 total votes.
SHAQ VS NASH
There’s a great video of Shaq flipping out on Open Court about Nash winning MVP and for some reason it keeps getting removed from YouTube. Here’s a pic with some quotes on it from that episode, followed by a couple of other vids about the “sympathy MVP.”
FYI: Shaq came in 2nd to David Robinson during the 94/95 season and was 3rd during his 2nd and 3rd Championship years with the Lakers (Iverson and Duncan won MVP those two seasons). Shaq was also 4th in MVP voting in his 2nd season.
KOBE ROBBED OVER AND OVER AGAIN?
CHARLES BARKLEY IN 1990
ROBBED MVPS IN OTHER SPORTS