Originally written on Stepien Rules  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Cavaliers-varejao-reacts
Anderson Varejao should be an All-Star. We've been over this. He's a 14 and 14 guy who's playing out of his mind every night even though it's completely obvious his team will lose before each game ever begins. Maybe that effort will be rewarded with a trip to Houston for ASW. Maybe it won't. Regardless, I do think Varejao does deserve the NBA's Most Improved Player award in the very least.  He's averaged seven points and seven rebounds for his career. This season he's doubled that. Anyone who's seen him play can tell that he's improved all phases of his game offensively. He's nowhere near flopping at will and being fined for it on defense either.  But if he did win the NBA's Most Improved Player, he'd be the oldest player to ever do so in the last ten years.  Playing in his ninth NBA season this year, Varejao would actually be the oldest by a lot. He might even be the oldest of all time but I only checked back as far as the last 10 years.  If anyone wants to dig deeper than that go ahead and holler.  The following research I did already was for one of my articles at Bleacher Report this week: Dating back to when Gilbert Arenas won the award during the 2002-03 season, no player since has ever been named NBA's Most Improved having played longer than four seasons in the league.   Arenas and Monta Ellis were in their second seasons when they won. Kevin Love, Aaron Brooks, Boris Diaw and Zach Randolph were all in their third. Ryan Anderson was in his fourth season when he won last year, as were Danny Granger and Bobby Simmons.    Anderson Varejao was in his fourth season five years ago. But he is just doing too much to be denied this year. So I mention this now for three reasons.   I found it interesting how the NBA people who vote on this award seem to agree that a player can't really improve after his fifth or six season. Two, I haven't really heard anyone mention Anderson as a legitimate candidate for this honor. Three, I don't see why he wouldn't be. Unless, of course, you're a raging ageist.   Developing the full arsenal of an offensive game at 30-years old is actually the epitome of "improving".
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