Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NBA 06-07 Preview: MVP
LeBron Gets What He Deserves

Running all day: My NBA season preview.
More: Coach | Rookie | Storylines | Rankings

Did you catch LeBron James on "The Daily Show" last night? It was LeBron at his most Jordan-esque: Blandly appealing, saying nothing to potentially erode "Brand LeBron," flashing teases of playfulness to keep viewers (and Jon Stewart) hooked in fascination.

It was a master class on display of how LeBron has, at 21, completely perfected his image. Jordan didn't reach that point for years and certainly didn't have it at age 21. Similarly, LeBron's skills, at 21, are greater than MJ's skills at 21. LeBron's skills are, in fact, greater than any 21-year-old basketball player who has ever lived.

By all accounts, metrics, formulas or arguments, LeBron should have been the NBA's MVP *last* season. (He was MY pick.) Based on the consensus that the Cavs will improve significantly in the standings, I think he's a lock for MVP this season. Presumably, his few remaining critics were just waiting on more wins.

Runner-Up: Gilbert Arenas

I have said before my favorite player is Agent Zero. You're certainly allowed to have your own favorite player – but I can't imagine that Arenas isn't the top contender to be fans' SECOND-favorite player. How can you NOT love him? That's why I highly recommend getting yourself the hottest T-shirt of the fall season from the geniuses at Free Darko.

3rd: Kobe Bryant
4th: Dwyane Wade

What about reigning MVP Steve Nash? He's been "Jordanized": After 2 MVPs, voters will be tired of giving him the award and look around for someone new. (I thought this would happen last year; it'll definitely happen this year.)

Comments Question: Who is YOUR pick for NBA MVP? Who will be in contention? Who will be this year's Elton Brand-style surprise contender?

-- D.S.


Josh said...

Chris Paul.

Christian Thoma said...

No way LeBron becomes MVP. Cleveland's only 1-6 in the preseason, and we know how important the preseason is as an indicator of a team's or player's regular season success.

My pick is Morris Peterson of the Raptors.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Lebron wins MVP barring injury.

Though, I'm holding out hope for TD if only for my fantasy team.

Gary said...

I think Paul Pierce is an MVP candidate if the celtics win their division. He's gonna score close to 30 a night, if the C's can use some Auerbach magic to make a run at the playoffs, Pierce is the man who is going to be carrying that young team.

The only problem is Pierce does it ugly, so that will hurt his chances, but he has to be in the conversation anyway

Unknown said...

believe it or not dan....im with you

1. the chosen one
2. agent 0
3. the mamba
4. flash

and in a hopeful pick....


Unknown said...

Voters won't be able to get past Duncan's whininess.

They'll get past LeBron's...especially if he keeps putting out hilarious commercials.

LeBron is pretty good off the high dive..

Politics Blogger said...

Paul and Howard are't under the radar enough. I go with Michael Redd.

Unknown said...

the mamba is better on D than Duncan

BLUE said...

The surprise sleeper pick, Carmelo Anthony. He may not win it, but he'll be in the conversation. He's the leader on a team, that if healthy should be in the top 4 teams in the west.

Mega said...

I'm sticking with Dirk.

Does anyone else think McGrady or Yao have an outside shot?

pv845 said...

I would go with Paul, especially if the team makes the playoffs and moves forward in them. James should NOT have won it last year and as his team did nothing to improve team wise, he will not improve in the standings.

Anonymous said...

kirk hinrich or chris paul (the brand award)

i like agent zero for MVP talk...

Unknown said...

Dan you have the Cavs finishing 6th in the East? How exactly does that show big improvement on behalf of LeBron and his team?

I'd say there is a good chance that Bron wins the MVP because the voters usually pick these things about halfway through the season - but I'd say if the Wizards finished fourth or third in the East (like you have them) then Agent Zero gets my vote.

ToddTheJackass said...

Dan, how can you have Kobe getting 3rd if the Lakers don't even make the playoffs? Does that make any sense? This isn't like baseball, because with 8 teams from each conference and last year Kobe single-handedly led the Lakers to the playoffs.

I do agree that LeBron has to be the odds on favorite. Can't imagine Steve Nash won't be top 4 though.

Pokhra said...

What do you think of #9 of Bill Simmons' NBA review?

9. Gilbert Arenas, lunatic
Although I'm convinced he's doing this because he loves seeing himself in the NBA blogs. I bet he has a member of his entourage whose specific duty is to determine how many days have passed since the last time he was mentioned on True Hoop and Free Darko, then tells him, "Yo, Gilbert, you need to say something crazy after practice today, it's been six days ... "

Conservatives need to run the country said...

I fear the world doesn't want to put a short Canadian in the same class as Wilt and Russel. I know from watching many of his games this year that he is the MVP. I can't wait till they show a Suns game and I am not even a fan and do you know why? Because he makes basketball fun and exciting and selfless and the team sport it should be. He embodies everything that basketball is about. He is someone no one thought would be very good, he is selfless and modest, he is the first one to say blame me if they loose and also the first to say it was a team effort and I couldn't have done without my teammates when they win. He doesn't need a ring or a trip to the finals (even though this year I believe they will win it) to be the MVP. If they don't give it to him they have done a great disservice to not only the fans of the NBA but the game itself.