Some folks are claiming that by being named the 2016-2017 NBA MVP, Russell Westbrook has somehow sullied the award because his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, got smacked in the first round of the playoffs by James Harden’s Houston Rockets. They’re saying that despite his historical numbers, his exorbitant volume of shots and his cornucopia of various statistical offerings he couldnt lift his team into the serious contender zone.
Dallas Owner Mark Cuban was very vocal about it back in March.
Russell Westbrook doesn’t deserve the MVP, according to Mark Cuban https://t.co/O3uHQR6t2r
He’s not alone, as former NBA players and basketball purists are struggling with the fact that, in the eyes of many, statistics and little else earned Russ this MVP. In the past, the NBA has set a precedent of passing over guys with superior statistical seasons and awarding the MVP to those players that make their teams elite squads, often sacrificing some personal glory and stats for a team goal.
Kobe Bryant unfathomably has just one MVP Award and writers used to love to make the excuse that in those years when he was scoring 81 points in a game and averaging in the 30s, the Lakers werent title contenders. So his numbers were somewhat ignored in favor of guys like Steve Nash who was seen as being more valuable to his teams overall success.
It was hogwash, and the NBA has finally admitted it by voting Westbrook league MVP when you had legitimate candidates all over the two teams who made it to the NBA Finals. In the past, Chef Curry would have gotten his third MVP in a row, or Kevin Durant or King James would have been awarded the trophy for being the best player on the best team.
With some exceptions, thats usually how it goes. Not this year.
Michael Jordan has had a close, personal relationship with Westbrook for some time now and always speaks the OKC guard’s praises. Jordan agrees with choosing Westbrook as the leagues elite regular season player for 2017 and believe it or not, the G.O.A.T and his six championships know better than anybody that winning takes time when you cant buy it on the fly.
Jordan didnt win a title in his first seven years in the league and used to receive similar criticisms to the ones Westbrook now garners. They said Jordan was a ball hog. Others said the Bulls couldnt win with him taking all of those shots and carrying such a large burden of the offense.
Boxscore: http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199003280CLE.html —– MJ was a nightmare for pretty much every other team that wasn’t in Chicago, particularly the teams that were aligned in the Central Division. The Cleveland Cavaliers probably got the worst of Jordan’s wrath, particularly during the late 80’s and early 90’s; it’s not that the Cavs were a bad team.
Scottie Pippen showed up, the team’s supporting players accepted their limitations while playing their roles to perfection and Jordan proved the critics wrong. When Westbrook won his first MVP on Monday night, His Airness sent Westbrook a reminder via Footlocker, that his race to greatness is just beginning and this MVP Award is just the first step toward winning the critics over.
A special message from the to the new MVP.