Author: Jonathan Mills
Not often are fans rewarded with a celestial, transformative figure in professional sports.
Not often are fans rewarded with a player that changes the dynamics of a league or conference so much, that the entirety of a city’s economy revolves around this sole figure.
And not surprisingly, then, not often do these traits last for more than 14 years.
Yet, this is where the realm of sports fans, media and the National Basketball Association rests in 2018. As the current climate suggests, it won’t be long until Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden accepts the 2018 Most Valuable Player Award, barring something unforeseen.
But that’s not what should happen. Take a seat Mr. Harden, and let the King take his rightful throne.
In fact, you can call him “Father Time”, “The Chosen One” or any title you want.
But the title that I will be arguing for Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James to own for the rest of the year is “2018 MVP”.
The NBA hasn’t been a league characteristic of numerous power shifts. Instead, it has been under the King’s reign for more than a decade. Why then, is there such a divide between those who believe Harden deserves the 2018 MVP Award?
Let’s break down the numbers quick. As of April 11, 2018, James boasts an advantage in these statistical categories: Games Played (81), Minutes Per Game (37.2), Field Goal % (54.3), 3Pt. % (36.9), Rebounds Per Game (8.7), Assists Per Game (9.2), Blocks Per Game (0.9) and Turnovers Per Game (4.2).
Harden’s arguably most significant advantage?
30.4 Points Per Game.
That’s it, folks.
Oh, and these are just the numbers. But, as MVP voters have expressed in the past, only numbers matter. Let’s forget about how James hasn’t missed a single regular season game in 2018 while Harden has rested on the sidelines while his future Hall of Fame teammate Chris Paul does the work for him. Disregard the fact that James persevered through an entire roster shakeup and extended time without a head coach.
It may not be a popular opinion, but it’s the right one. And I’ll be one of the loudest ones clapping when James finally gets the respect he deserves this year.