For the first time since the 2000 election, a vote involving Florida stirred up vitriol around the nation, after LeBron James fell a vote short of becoming the first unanimous MVP in league history. It wasn't quite Timothy Bradley getting the judges decision over Manny Pacquiao, but the pitchfork-wielding national mob thought he'd gotten robbed of history, and the manhunt was on for the only voter out of 121 not to vote for James.
While James was humbly accepting his fourth NBA MVP award in Miami, speculation was abound that Miami’s own Dan Le Batard was the dubious voter. Once Twitter detectives thought they'd sniffed out Le Batard as the culprit, the trolling was on.
The only problem is that Twitter was working with some faulty intel, because Le Batard doesn't have an NBA MVP vote. Basically, Le Batard got John King'd as the "dark skinned suspect." In the Monday edition of the Boston Globe, national NBA writer writer Gary Washburn confessed to voting for Anthony.
It might seem like poor timing for a Boston writer to claim Anthony as his pick, but that’s all it is. Washburn sent his vote in before the conclusion of the Celtics and Knicks series.
More importantly, he makes some valid points.
Via Boston Globe :
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.
That’s a long time ago.
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.
…If LeBron was taken away from the Heat, they still would be a fifth or sixth seed. He is the best player of this generation, a multifaceted superstar with the physical prowess of Adonis, but I chose to reward a player who has lifted his team to new heights.
The Knicks were slapped around last season by the Heat in the first round, swept by the Celtics the year before, and the constant has been Anthony. Stoudemire, an All-Star-caliber player when healthy, has been dealing with knee problems the past few years. Chandler is a defensive center, and Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Rasheed Wallace are beyond aging. That leaves the scoring load to Anthony and the mercurial Smith.