Originally written on That NBA Lottery Pick  |  Last updated 11/8/14
Yesterday, Miami Heat star LeBron James won his fourth MVP Award of his career and was one first-place vote shy of winning the award unanimously. After the news that LeBron lost by that one vote, the Interwebs went abuzz about who was the man that ended costing LeBron that honor. That man ended up being Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn who ended up selecting Knicks star Carmelo Anthony with his first-place vote. Earlier today, Washburn tried to shut down any LeBron conspiracies in an article for the Boston Globe: When the voting was announced Sunday afternoon, I was flabbergasted to learn I was the lone voter among 121 to not give LeBron a first-place vote, truly believing Anthony, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, and perhaps even Kobe Bryant would snag a first-place vote or two. Firstly, when I submitted my vote in mid-April, I had no idea I would be the only voter to leave LeBron out of first. This isn’t Mrs. Wilson’s class, I don’t walk around asking fellow sportswriters their answers to the US History quiz. I had no idea whom the writers were voting for, so this was no LeBron conspiracy. Secondly, this isn’t the Best Player in the Game award, it’s the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years. Later in the article, he went onto explain that Carmelo got his vote because he did more with less: 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. LeBron can win the MVP award every year. He is that good. And it’s to the point where I put him on a Michael Jordan scale. Jordan won five MVP awards but could have earned 10. In the 1992-93 season, Jordan averaged 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.8 steals and shot 49.5 percent from the field. And the MVP award went to Charles Barkley. 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. All fair points but still, Carmelo (albeit having one of his greatest seasons of his career) shouldn’t have come close to first-place vote but I’ll agree with Washburn that this was no LeBronspiracy. Also, a Boston sports writer voting for a Knicks star for MVP? That should probably be the story…
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