PODCAST: Explaining my Second Team All-NBA vote for LeBron James

hatersI am taking a lot of flack on social media today after I was the only voter to place LeBron James on his Second Team All-NBA ballot, and that’s OK. Everyone has the right to their own opinion.

We have been over this before, since I cast my ballot in mid-April, wrote about it and went on the air with CineSport to explain my reasoning.

In a nutshell, this is it:

There were only two forward spots on the All-NBA ballot. I gave them to the players I listed No. 1 and No. 2 on my MVP ballot, Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, who are both forwards.

I voted for Griffin ahead of James for many reasons.

  •  First of all, the Clippers had a better record (57-25) than the Heat (54-28) and set a franchise record for victories.
  • The Clippers had that better record despite playing in a tougher conference. The Heat lollygagged their way through the regular season and finished with 12 fewer victories than they had in 2012-13, and when they had a chance to stay ahead of the Indiana Pacers after overtaking them in late March, they went 3-6 in April.
  • The catalyst for the Clippers’ 57-25 record was Griffin, who scored 20 or more points in 31 consecutive games from Jan. 20 through March 26. LeBron’s longest streak of 20 or more points was 10 games, accomplished twice.
  • The MVP award (and the all-NBA teams) is based upon performances from the regular season, not the postseason. It is not about who is the better player; it is about who was the most valuable to their team. And given that the Clippers had the best season in their inglorious history, Griffin was more valuable to L.A. during the regular season than James was to Miami.

Now, if you want me to tell you who the best player in the NBA is, I will tell you it is LeBron James, and it is not even close.

[RELATED – LEBRON JAMES: “I DON’T REALLY CARE WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ME”]

But if I am going to put him third on my MVP ballot, behind two other forwards, I cannot put him ahead of those forwards on my all-NBA Team because I’d be contradicting myself.

So whether you agree with my reasoning or not, I stand behind it.

Further explaining comes in this interview with Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports Radio.

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Comments

  1. Tim says

    Sheridan makes a lot of sense as to why he made his selection. His was carefully thought out unlike some others. While I don’t necessarily agree, his reasoning is concrete solid. He also named James the best player so he’s not hating. Well done Sheridan.

  2. Pogi says

    Your reasoning makes sense. It is your vote, it is your logic behind the vote and great job on being firm on it.

  3. Raaj says

    I hate Lebron James witha passion, and I too, Chris Sheridan, think you’re an absolute idiot. Can’t believe you get paid to write/talk basketball.

  4. Chris says

    This is obviously a bid to increase his readership. It worked, but he looks like a fool. All NBA, by definition, is an honour bestowed on the BEST players in the league. Not most valuable. He even says in his article that LeBron is the best player in the game and it’s not
    even close.

    It worries me that a voter thinks All NBA is a team based award. You’re obviously the only one who doesn’t know the definition on the panel.

    Obviously you enjoy antagonising people too get a response. Pretty low brow stuff. Well done. I’m ashamed to share a first name with you Sheridan.

  5. Chris says

    This is obviously a bid to increase readership. It worked, but he looks like an idiot. All NBA, by definition, is an honour bestowed on the BEST players in the league. Not most valuable. He even says in his article that LeBron is the BEST player in the game and it’s not even close! Such blatant contradiction. So either we have a clueless voter who believes All NBA is a team based award, or, he feeds off the hate he receives when he makes an amtagonising comment. I’m ashamed to share a first name with you.

  6. says

    There is a lot of vitriol here. A lot of passion. So I say to you, Chris Sheridan, with a clear head and no emotion, “You are as wrong as the day is long.” As you say, everyone has the right to their own opinion. But when your opinion is based on faulty reasoning and has far-reaching, unfortunate consequences, maybe it would be better to keep your opinion to yourself. Your actions have benefited you; you are the flavor of the day. However, your long term credibility has taken one right between the eyes.

    • says

      You guys all just sound like mad LeBron fans. There’s a reason his on the voter pannel & you guys aren’t. Its funny how non objective a person can be. For one. In the NBA. & in basketball , there’s 5 positions right ? PG. SG. SF. PF. & center. Last time I checked. LeBron James is listed as SMALL foward. Just because he plays power foward , for a couple possessions. Does not make him one. Griffin is. Now its not griffin against LeBron for the all nba team. Its Durant against LeBron. & now you wanna argue that ? Durant who was the MVP , led his team to the secondest best record on the NBA & increased his stat line across the board. Against LeBron who did almost the complete opposite & decreased across the board ? While even griffin increased across the board as well. People need to stop giving spots up , just because of reputation.

      • turdferguson says

        the all-nba teams have nothing to do with the 5 positions on the floor. its the two best FORWARDS in the nba. explain why lebron and durant have been 1st team since 2009 then? or how you can put one of the top 2 players in the game reputation wise and statistically on the 2nd team? YOU CANT

      • Nick says

        How is Blake griffin more valuable to the Clips than Chris Paul? I seriously doubt the Clipers would suffer more by losing Blake than the Heat would by losing Lebron

  7. Ali says

    You are suffering from a disease known as cognitive dissonance. It really starts happening to older white dudes in their 70′s. Perhaps you should retire gracefully before you become a mockery of yourself.

  8. Chris says

    The only area in which Blake is more valuable than Lebron is Bieber slapping. Otherwise, come on now. Lebron does so much and is the total package, where as Blake is just a good forward. When you have a guy on your team that can play every position and play it well and does everything an NBA player should, he shouldn’t come in third behind a guy that just rebounds, dunks, and posts up. Focusing on just wins and not their individual talent is a flawed way of looking at things. Durant on the other hand, I can see that. But Blake? No contest.

  9. Rique says

    Chris Sheridan: “It is not about who is the better player; it is about who was the most valuable to their team”

    I respectfully disagree. It’s a league MVP, not a team MVP.

    You may believe that Blake Griffin is more valuable to his team than LeBron is to the Heat, but that only makes Blake the Clippers’ MVP and we’re talking about identifying the most valuable player in the league. Unfortunately, I guess the league doesn’t provide clear guidelines and the voters are left to define “valuable” as they see it.

    I would define valuable as something desirable and thus most valuable could be restated as most desirable. Rather than using the most common “pull the player and see how the team does without him” test, I propose the following.

    You’re playing only one season (this removes future value – or to put it another way, future mvp’s – from the current race). You’re picking first and you have the entire NBA to choose from. Whom do you choose?

    This addresses value within the context of the entire league as opposed to just one team while allowing for subjectivity in that the voter is free to decide for himself what he values most (experience, leadership, scoring, defense… etc).

  10. Eric Hasselfeld says

    Chris Sheridan you should resign from the voting panel going forward, your vote was a disservice to the NBA, its fans and its players.

    Voting Durant and Griffin ahead of James for MVP is understandable. There are arguments to be made that both of those players are indeed more valuable to their team’s than Lebron James is and historically the MVP has been awarded many, many times to a player other than the clear cut best player in the league which James certainly is.

    However, All NBA is an honor awarded to the best players in the league. Not the most valuable to their teams. So there is no rationale for leaving James off of the first team, or voting him second behind any other forward. He is miles ahead of Durant and Griffin in terms of overall ability.

    Having Durant a unanimous selection and James not be should embarrass the league and the voting panel.

  11. Truth says

    “Ask me who the best player is and I will say LeBron James.” Best player yet not all NBA? This is what happens when people who have never played a sport get a license to talk/vote on said sport. Bigger idiot sports journalist move I’ve seen in a whole. Overthink much?

  12. Caco says

    Remove each player from his team, then project their regular season wins. That’s it.
    How many games will LAC lose without Griffin, and MIA without James? Who’s the MVP now?

  13. Tyrone Slothrop says

    Sheridan, you could have saved a lot of time and cyber space by saying, “I don’t know shit about the game.” As for the usual idiots trying to explain the word valuable, name me another player in the history of the game who led his championship or championship level team in every major statistical category for consecutive seasons. Oh, by the way he is also their defensive stopper and one of the most versatile defenders the game has seen. You people need to start reasoning more and emoting less.

  14. Justin says

    Oh yeah, the Heat definitely lollygagged their way through the season…. Sitting Dwyane Wade is they lost 13 more games in 13-14 than they did in 12-13. And if you haven’t noticed, the Heat are actually in the finals, while the Clippers and Thunder are sitting at home.

  15. Scott says

    As an insane Celtics fan who utterly despises the Heat and Lebron James this article is crap and that guy should not be allowed to vote. James is WAY more valuable to Miami then Griffin is to the Clippers.

  16. uche says

    I Agree with him he is 100 percent correct yall just riding lebron dick he is good but Blake put in more work for his team like he said and i quote “mvp is about who is most valuable to your team” regular season wise post season dosent matter if your talking about mvp , or all nba teams

  17. Curtis Walker says

    The fact that Blake Griffin played in a tougher conference means NOTHING until playoff time. The Clippers posted a better record than the Heat because they are, collectively, a deeper team than the Heat. Name a sixth man on the Heat who can come off the bench and score 20+ any night….because the Clipper have a player like Jamal, they have a defensive stopper in DeAndre Jordan who makes up for Griffin’s mistakes…Lebron does it ALL for the Heat.

  18. says

    I can’t believe they let this guy votr. I must say I would like to see why they let him vote in the first place and if they let him vote they would let a blind man vote or someone who doesn’t watch basketball. This guy is a joke

  19. Pearsj22 says

    So from your comments it sounds like you punished LeBron for team performance, when an award for all-NBA is largely based on individual performance? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion which is fair, but maybe just make sure the reasons you’re voting the way you are are justified.

  20. says

    I was thinking the real reason you didn’t vote for him was because you knew you would get some additional spotlight for your blog by way of Tuner Media (Bleacher Report) and other outlets.

  21. Faruq says

    Blake griffin did not have a better season than Lebron James. A simple glare at the stats clearly reflect this. Most telling is you’re reasonings. You’ve picked griffin based on wins (could argue CP3 is more responsible than griffin but debate for another day). You’ve picked an individual award based on team success, what’s worse is you’re a hypocrite as I don’t see a single spur on your list. Yet they had the best record in the league in the hardest conference AND division. So be consistent with your criteria, is it wins? Or individual performance of its wins why would there not be a spur on your list??

    After saying there were several reasons but only listing two, your second reason of Lebron regressing and griffin getting better is even worse. Despite Lebron’s ever so slight statistical regression he still dominated Blake!! If it’s about improvement then where is Anthony Davis on your list? He improve far better than Blake. Again inconsistent.

    Blake had a magnificent season and there truly is a debate to be had if Lebron deserved a unanimous first team selection. But your argument is not the one. Last year the Boston guy picked melo over Lebron. Again not wise but at least with logic behind his reasoning. You have none, then have the audacity to be so dismissive and arrogant in the way you explain it. Read the Boston guys article and you will see humility and reason. I read yours and saw an arrogant child who made a mistake but won’t acknowledge it

  22. DEEZ KNUTZ says

    when EVERYONE else has the same answer, maybe, just maybe you have the wrong one. First and last article I’ll read from you. Here…take this with you
    ☻/L
    /▌
    / \

  23. Emmanuel says

    Lebron and griffin are not even the same type of forward. furthermore I strongly believe that the playoffs are an extension of the season, therefore the season Isn’t over yet.

  24. Jasone Mills says

    Wether you agree with him or not isn’t the issue. Blake griffin was a valid contender for the MVP. Kevin durant won MVP so his all nba status was a lock with one other forward you have a choice. Picking over potential or over production. The numbers don’t lie Blake’s production this year was staggering. He was a steady double double machine and he was leaned on to help the clippers to their best record in franchise history (with cris Paul missing 20 games) lebron is the best player in the world but he didn’t have the best season individually or second and you can argue third… It just happens that the 2 forwards that you have a case for saying had better seasons are the MVP winner and Blake griffin. Unpopular vote? Yes…. Ridiculous vote ? No.

  25. Max says

    Lebron is better than Blake Griffin in everyway besides rebounds this year. Your reasoning is so weak and stupid but obviously you are looking for shock fame. It’s working for you but shame that you went that low. Bad journalism. NBA should strip your voting rights because you are truly dumb.

  26. Mike says

    Being that James’ win share was greater, he lead his team in points, rebs, steals, and assists, and Griffin had CP3 (another 1st Team All NBA) play more games than Wade did your logic is faulty because Griffin wasn’t more valuable to the Clippers than LeBron to the Heat. James averaged more ppg, more apg, and somehow had a higher fg% than Griffin. This is not a whose team had a better record award, if that was the case Hibbert would have been fighting Noah for votes for first team. James had the better stats this seasons in every category sans rebounds, plus the Clippers only won 3 more games and LeBron played in 3 less games than Griffin so it wasn’t like the Clippers were way better (Heat beat them twice in the regular season anyway). You also failed to mention that while Griffin had a longer 20ppg streak than James they both had about 15 games under 20 points. James averaged more points so I don’t know why that streak matters? Last thing, yes the Heat won 12 less games this year, but they won 66 games last year!! So the Heat had to challenge the 72 win Bulls for you to vote James 1st team when he had more ppg this season and higher fg% this year than last? Yet DeAndre Jordan had more team wins than Noah and Jefferson, was the most important defensive player on the Clips, and the lead the NBA in rebounds but you voted him 3rd (rightly so)? I guess having the best rebounder and best assist man in the NBA helping Griffin (not to mention Doc Rivers) had nothing to do with those 57 wins. So how is Griffin more valuable when you voted two of his teammates to the All NBA Teams and Lebron is the only Heat player? Oh and the Clips had the Sixth Man of the Year!!! Which you voted for!!!!! According to your votes the Clippers had the sixth man, the DPOY, a 1st teamer All NBA, a 2nd teamer, and a 3rd teamer, but Griffin was more valuable because they won 3 more games than the Heat!? According to your votes the Clippers were an All Star team! FINISH HIM….FATALITY….FLAWLESS VICTORY!!!

    • Tito says

      Ohhhh damn Sheridan this guy school’d you. I’ll never read your stuff again. You incompetent imbecile. Good day sir.

    • CJ says

      Chris Sheridan, by the power vested in me, I officially strip you of your vote. Your pants, those were stripped by this guy.

      Good sakes man, cover up.

  27. Emmanuel says

    So he admits LeBron is the best player, then puts Griffin ahead. I’m pretty sure LeBron would outplay Griffin as a full POwer forward. I doubt Griffin would be efficient as a small forward. griff is a beast but he doesn’t have LeBron skill set that makes him one of the most, if not, the most versatile nba player (ever??)

  28. Joe Tanker says

    You are a human wank, using shock plays to increase your web traffic. There are very legitimate reasons for re-assigning who gets to vote towards these honors, and this is one of them. This has nothing to do with fandom either, your argument is contradictory and hypocritical. Everyone knows the only two absolute locks for First team this season were KD and LeBron. Please stop sports writing if you’re not going to do it well, try being a human traffic cone as it would be a better use of your time.

  29. joe says

    I bet this guy only voted LBJ to the 2nd team all NBA, cause he knew he would get a lot of readers. I mean he has a picture on the article saying he hearts haters. He knew he would get these responses. Maybe he is smarter then we think. Even tho he is completely wrong.

  30. Sam says

    Your argument is totally out of basis. First you claim that clippers had a better record than heat (by 3 games) and that Blake was essential to their success. However, you fail to mention that the Heat had a winning season despite Wade missing about a third of a season. Guess who carried them to a 50+ win season? I don’t think clippers would have managed to win 50 games if cp3 had missed 28 games. In addition, you also have to look at individual success and clearly lebron had a better season than Blake. In any case, haters gonna hate

  31. Anthony says

    You contradict yourself in your own reasoning you idiot. You say the reason for not choosing Lebron as an MVP because you felt Blake Griffin was most valuable to his team…dumb, but a decent point, but you picked BG over LJ for All-NBA for what again? Is All-NBA suddenly being renamed All-MVP? LJ is the best basketball player in the world, point blank, period. Quit writing, you sad little duck.

  32. grey says

    Wow. It should be as simple and as clear cut that a 4 time mvp and then 2nd runner up would be automatically on the first all nba team. Its transparent that you’re looking for reasons why he shouldn’t be on it. And Blake Griffin does not justify your uneducated vote. Otherwise blake would have been 2nd in mvp voting.

  33. Walker says

    Looks like a duck , smells like a duck , sounds like a duck , tastes like a terrible reason to make a moronic decision. You defiantly talked your way into this vote. It’s funny I remember my first time giving into peer pressure. How many of your friends are Lebron haters ? The guy is the best player by far you say , then how is he not MVP for the heat , eastern conf and the whole ducking rest of the nba ? Good day sir I just don’t believe you and the fact you publish a reason why is not to be trusted. I’ve done things drunk then made up a reason the next day why I did it but the real reason is I was drunk …..

  34. You did it for hype says

    Please be honest and tell the public, that you modeled the columnist from last year who voted Melo as the MVP. So you could write this post on your blog to increase traffic, get twitter hype, get on Sportscenter, etc….you’ve now been elected into the “Sports Blogger Troll” hall of fame!!!!

  35. Jim says

    Way to drum up interest in yourself!!! Pulling a dan lebatard!!! Keep self promoting and you might end up a skip bayless and really hit that goal of being a shock journalist star.

    Will not read anything authored by you again you jackass….

    Not a Lebron fan, not a heat fan, but unlike you, not a moron either and I’m not out there for headlines douchebag.

    Jim

  36. Eddy Rozay says

    The idea that you have a vote is insane to me. And should be insane to call. Can Blake guard 1-5? Who do you put the best player on the planet on the second team? You are why we can’t have nice things. No I don’t want to follow this post or get email updates as I will never read anything this duck has to write.

  37. Shaftmann says

    Really I like griffin as well but there is no way James is not a first all nba member your argument is very weak at best that’s why your the only one that made that wack decision..

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