The NBA made the somewhat controversial decision this year to delay its award announcements until after the entire season was completed. With that in mind, there is a (very) long discussion buzzing as to who should win the league’s MVP award, and on Friday, the Inside The NBA crew broke news in announcing finalists for each of the NBA’s major awards. While there were some surprises, nothing holds a candle to the MVP race, and in the end, there was one glaring omission.
It isn’t an absolute stunner to see LeBron James left off the list, but it is still jarring to know that the consensus best player in the universe will not be in the running until the very end. For context, it has been quite a while since James did not finish within the top three for the award.
If anything, James falls into the category with Michael Jordan as players who should probably have claimed more MVP awards and he has certainly suffered from some voter fatigue during a lengthy and productive career. On the flip side, it was relatively clear that James would not actually be taking home the hardware in a year featuring Russell Westbrook’s triple-double quest, James Harden’s phenomenal production and Kawhi Leonard’s two-way brilliance.
LeBron James is the player that almost everyone agrees is the best in the NBA. However, the league offers an award based on “most valuable” criteria, and that subjective measure leads to the fact that James will be on the sidelines this time around.