Over the weekend, it was announced that LeBron James was voted Most Valuable Player for the 2012-2013 NBA season. The news wasn’t surprising at all as LeBron was undoubtedly the most consistent and dominant player of the season. While there were many other strong candidates, such as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, also up for consideration, the majority of fans and NBA insiders agreed that LeBron deserved the award. But when news broke that one voter out of 121, was responsible for LeBron not being a unanimous pick everyone wondered who could or would do such a thing.
Well, as it turns out, and this was a shock to everyone, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, ironically, was the lone voter to go against LeBron. After many people falsely accused the New York media for voting for Carmelo Anthony, Washburn outed himself in his column and explained how Melo earned his vote. Here’s part of what he wrote,
Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times….So my vote had more to do with Anthony and less to do with the dominance of LeBron. If you were to take Anthony off the Knicks, they are a lottery team. James plays with two other All-Stars, the league’s all-time 3-point leader, a defensive stalwart, and a fearless point guard. The Heat are loaded….And the fact that Anthony is struggling in the playoffs, three weeks after I cast my vote, is a serious case of Wednesday morning quarterbacking. Anthony scored 50 points at Miami April 2 and averaged 36.9 points in April when the Knicks were trying to lock down the Atlantic Division and the No. 2 seed.
I can’t argue with LeBron winning MVP this season. However, Washburn certainly makes some valid points regarding Melo. Melo not only carried the Knicks team all season long, but he carried them to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. At the beginning of the season, many of the same sportswriters who voted for LeBron set low expectations for the Knicks. Opinions were mixed about whether the Knicks were even capable of being one of the Top 4 teams in the Eastern Conference. Hell, many incorrectly predicted the Brooklyn Nets would have a more successful season than the Knicks. The Knicks were labeled old, and it was largely believed that the oldest team in the league would limp into the playoffs. Sure, the Knicks suffered many injuries and casualties along the way, but Melo put the team on his back and played lights out down the stretch, when it counted most.
As Washburn intimated, the hot-handed Melo that the Knicks rode throughout the season is currently MIA. He’s struggled mightily in the playoffs. However, Melo’s recent struggles do not make his regular season heroics insignificant. As a Knicks fan, I just hope Melo’s able to remind everyone why he was a strong contender for MVP in the first place. And quickly.
Come on, Melo. Don’t make a liar out of the one sportswriter who had your back.
To read the article in its entirety, go here.