I have until 3 p.m. EDT Friday to send it off to Ernst and Young, the accounting firm that has been hired to tabulate the election results (anti-leak strategy?).
As of Thursday afternoon, I am still trying to make up my mind as to who I will vote first, second, third, fourth and fifth.
Somehow I get the feeling that LeBron James is going to be the winner this year. His scoring is up from 26.7 to 27.1. Most impressively, his field goal percentage as risen from .510 to .531. His 3-point percentage is up from .330 to .362. His rebounds have risen from 7.5 to 7.0, and his assists are down from 7.0 to 6.2. Most importantly, he has carried the team on the nights when Dwyane Wade has been sidelined.
But if I am a Miami Heat fan, I can’t help but think I still want the ball in Dwyane Wade’s hands at the end of a close game. Too many gag jobs from LBJ in the final minutes of close games, including the All-Star game. And the stench of his fourth quarters from last year’s NBA finals still lingers.
Does that disqualify him from the top spot on my blank ballot? Or am I being overly critical?
After all, the award is about who has been the most valuable to his team, emphasis on the word “valuable.”
Which brings us to Chris Paul.
No team has increased in value more than the Los Angeles Clippers, both from an aesthetic standpoint and a financial standpoint. Paul has been a rock throughout, and his numbers over the final third of the season have improved markedly as his team won 14 of its final 19 games to keep the pressure on the Lakers in the Pacific Division. He has more steals (39) than turnovers (29) in the month of April.
And then we have Kobe Bryant. Where would the Lakers be without him? Looking up at the Clippers, that’s where. But is he more deserving than James or Paul? I can’t buy that argument.
Kevin Durant? He’s probably going to lead the league in scoring for the third straight season. His team was a beast all season until flatlining in April, finishing 8-7.
Nobody from the Bulls is worthy. All accolades go to their coach.
Nobody from the Spurs stands out individually. What stands out is their depth, their precision and their efficiency. I think they’re winning the title, and I think they’re winning is with relative ease. But their MVPs are Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford.
So I’ll have this all sorted out by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll send in my ballot and I’ll write a column explaining my picks, and I’ll elaborate even more in our 2 p.m. EDT live chat Friday.
In the meantime, feel free to make your voice heard.
The comments section is open, and you never know: Your voice might be more influential than you ever imagined.