This morning it was formally announced what we all knew anyway: Kevin Durant is the 2013-14 NBA MVP. Except, KD wasn’t unanimously voted as MVP this year. Six voters elected to go with LeBron James, who was one vote short of getting every second-place vote. So who voted for ‘Bron over KD?
Because the NBA under Adam Silver has increasingly made the league’s inner-workings more transparent (you can actually read the NBA’s constitution now), they’ve also published the votes for all the big awards.
Usually the writers who elected to vote against the overwhelming consensus had to out themselves, or their misshapen ballot was leaked, but now you can see who voted for each player. Usually this means a bias related to the team-specific media members as The Diss’ Kevin Draper wrote last month.
That wasn’t the case here, though.
Let’s look at the biggest regular-season award this year: NBA MVP. Here’s how the voting broke down, and below are the six individuals who voted for James over Durant. Surprisingly, none of them have a job related to the Heat. This almost makes it worse, though just almost. KD was the MVP, as we explained time and again. Even ‘Bron thinks he deserves it. So who are these six voters that thought LeBron should win his third straight MVP award?
Al McCoy — KTAR Radio
Phoenix broadcaster who voted for Suns wing P.J. Tucker as his Defensive Player of the Year. At least McCoy has a history of odd votes, he has Tony Parker at No. 3 and Dirk Nowitzki at No. 4 on his MVP ballot.
Bill Land — Spurs Television
Maybe he’s still reeling from the NBA Finals last season when LeBron decided to finally go HAM at the end of Game 6 and the entirety of Game 7. After inverted top-2, Land’s overall ballot is pretty in line with every other voter.
Bob Fitzgerald — Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Warriors play-by-play announcer actually voted ‘Bron, Durant, Blake Griffin, Joakim Noah and then Stephen Curry, so we can’t chide him for playing favorites since he’s got Noah over Steph for fourth place.
Cedric Maxwell — WEEI Radio
Boston’s Cedric Maxwell, the 1980-81 NBA Finals MVP (yup) and two-time NBA champion-turned radio broadcaster for WEEI, had a strange mashup. He had James at the top, Durant second, then Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Noah in his fifth spot. The ‘Melo pick for fourth makes us think he drank too much cold medication that day. Anthony played well this year (he sported the second-highest PER of his career despite New York’s struggles), but team performance can’t be overlooked.
Grant Napear — CSN-CA
Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer had to survive DeMarcus Cousins’ disrespect, so you know he doesn’t shy away from his opinions. His ballot is relatively on-point besides having KD in second place. Blake is in third, Noah fourth and — like Bill Land — LaMarcus Aldridge in fifth (which looks smart after LMA’s performance in the first two games of the opening round). Can’t find any fault here.
Steve Holman — Hawks Radio Network
The Hawks’ play-by-play announcer had KD second, Noah third, Al Jefferson fourth and Griffin fifth. We actually can’t disagree with that either as Big Al was probably the most dominant frontcourt player in the season’s second half.
In all, the six voters who cast LeBron James as their 2013-14 NBA MVP aren’t insane, they’re simply in the minority, which is why we have the voting in the first place. There were no LeBron votes by Heat media members, either, which is a big deal — maybe they’ve learned to avoid such obvious discrepancies since their votes are now public?
Still, considering how dominant Durant has been, this should have been unanimous.
Also, it’s worth noting that Chris Sheridan was the only media member out of all 125 who didn’t have LeBron at No. 1 or No. 2. He had KD No. 1, Griffin No. 2 and James third. Sheridan explains his rationale for the vote at his eponymous website.
What do you think?
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