The amount of speculation surrounding the 2014-15 Most Valuable Player in the NBA seems to be at an all-time high. At this point, the media and basketball fans alike have embraced two prime candidates: Stephen Curry and James Harden. While both have put up well-rounded numbers, the conversation surrounding the NBA’s MVP winner just isn’t as important as it’s being portrayed, for a number of reasons.
The No. 1 issue with the NBA MVP is the voting system. Before the 1980-81 season, the MVP was determined by the votes of NBA players, and the league should go back to that. If players voted with the only rule being they can’t vote for themselves or their teammates, the NBA would have very pure MVP results. It would be a much better system that prevents the media from controlling the conversation and influencing the opinions of fellow writers and broadcasters.
Another issue surrounding MVP voting is the deception of the “Kia MVP.” Many fans may think they’re voting towards the NBA MVP, but really they’re supplying one ballot that counts as one vote, with a total of 124 votes remaining. The “NBA Kia MVP” has existed since 2010 and it’s absolutely outrageous. The NBA is using the promotions of Kia Motors to deceive fans into thinking they actually have any sort of say in the winner. Truthfully, they do have an incredibly minor impact, but the NBA is much more interested in their deal with Kia then they are giving fans a voice. Nowhere on the Kia MVP Voting Page does it explain that it’s only a 1/125 (.008 percent) say in the MVP winner.
Defensive prowess isn’t considered as valuable as it used to be surrounding the MVP award. That fact is obvious if Curry and Harden are dominating MVP winner headlines. Curry’s offensive abilities are at times freakish, both passing and shooting wise. But with a 6’3″ and 185-pound build, his defensive abilities are naturally quite limited, although there has been improvement this year.
And Harden, whom despite being a shooting guard, dominates much of the Houston Rockets’ ball control. Harden’s passing game has improved ten fold this season, and despite a lack of quality talent around him, the Rockets have continued to win. But his entire career he has been defensively flawed despite good size, and can often be seen taking plays off on that side of the ball.
The NBA’s MVP should be the player-voted, most well-rounded player in the league, literally providing the most value to their respective team. Unfortunately for fans, when that conversation occurs the choice is obvious, and LeBron James would win yet another MVP. Seriously, picture the Cleveland Cavaliers without James. Despite Kyrie Irving‘s impressive efforts, they may not even be a playoff team. But with James, they’re considered a favorite to represent the East in the NBA Finals.
The real root of why Curry and Harden are at the heart of all MVP discussions is because many NBA stars were either injured or on struggling teams this season. This has made the MVP conversation binary, repetitive and dull. And unfortunately it has taken away from some of the extraordinary team efforts this season.
The Atlanta Hawks may win over 60 games, the San Antonio Spurs are overcoming Father Time (again) and Derrick Rose is planning to come back from a knee injury (YES AGAIN) in time for the playoffs. Don’t let the vast wasteland of Harden-Curry MVP exposure take away from these incredible stories that are a lot more important at the end of the day.