I was one of 25 voters who chose James Harden as the NBA’s MVP, and I feel as strongly about my decision today as I did back when I cast my ballot the day after the season ended. As I said then, it was the toughest MVP vote I’ve ever been a part of.
What was interesting to me Monday when the ballots were released was the ledger of other voters who went for Harden over Curry. I imagine you have heard of some of them:
_ Mike Fratello and Hubie Brown, coaches turned broadcasters, along with longtime Clippers broadcaster Ralph Lawler.
_ David Aldridge, TurnerSports and NBA.com, along with his NBA.com colleague Fran Blinebury, another grizzled vet.
_ Brian Windhorst and Israel Gutierrez, ESPN.com.
_ Chris Broussard, ESPN.
_ Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated.
_ Doug Smith, Toronto star, who has covered the Raptors since they joined the NBA.
_ Jim Paschke, Fox Sports Wisconsin.
_ Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle.
_ Mike Crispino, MSG Network.
_ Ron Boone, former NBA player and current Jazz broadcaster.
That is pretty good company to keep in being among such a large minority, as 105 of the 130 votes went to Curry (five voters, including two from Ohio, selected LeBron James), although I want to emphasize that I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with those who voted Curry ahead of Harden. Hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and sometimes a ballot is miscast, which is what happened to Chris Haynes of cleveland.com, who intended to vote Harden third but inadvertently left him off the ballot. (The actual voting is done via e-mail through a drop-down tool; and there is no opportunity to double-check your ballot).
From looking at that list, it may appear that Harden carried the dinosaur vote — although that is not really the case.
Among the veteran sportswriters and broadcasters who went for Curry were Marv Albert, Mike Breen, Ernie Johnson, Bill Simmons, Doris Burke, Frank Isola, Howard Beck, Ira Winderman, Ethan Skolnick, J.A. Adande, Jon Barry, Ken Berger, Kevin Arnovitz, Lang Whitaker, Marc Berman, Marc Spears, Marc Stein, Michael Wilbon, Mike Monroe, Mike Tirico, Ric Bucher, Sam Amick, Sam Smith, Steve Aschburner and Zach Lowe.
For what it’s worth, non-voting dinosaurs Jan Hubbard (who wrote the NBA Encyclopedia) and Chris Bernucca (the managing editor of this site) wrote columns extolling the virtues of Harden over Curry. Here is Hubbard’s column. Here is Bernucca’s.
Our chief blogger, Jim Park, disagrees with all three of us. And while Park is a relatively young man in comparison to some of his veteran brethren at this site, he is one of the few people who saw this coming way back in October:
My bold prediction for the Warriors this season: Top 5 O & D, Top team in the West, Curry gets 50/40/90 and the league’s MVP.
— Jim Park (@SheridanBlog) October 16, 2014
How about that prediction!
More on the MVP voting results in this video with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.