We Let The Oregon Trail Decide Who Should Win The NBA MVP

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The NBA MVP race is an extremely tight battle between four main candidates, as Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James all have legitimate arguments for why they should win the award.

Westbrook is averaging a dang 30-point triple double for the season. Harden is averaging a near-triple double with 29 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game and is doing so with startling efficiency. Kawhi is the league’s best perimeter defender and has become a lethal offensive weapon, averaging 26 points per game with a 61.1 TS%. LeBron is averaging 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game while shooting 54.8% from the field and 36.3% from three.

How does one go about deciding which of these individual seasons is the best? Do you reward raw production, efficiency, or winning more? What’s your balance when combining the three? These are extremely difficult questions and make me very happy I don’t have a ballot, because this is too difficult for a person to decide.

A machine, however, a machine can take on this challenge. No, I’m not talking about the nerds and their analytics. I’m talking about “The Oregon Trail,” the only thing we can turn to in such a time of turmoil. The Trail doesn’t understand VORP or RAPM or PER or even PPG. It only knows one thing: pain, and it always delivers.

So, we sent our four hopefuls down the Trail to determine who had the grit and virtual determination to truly by deserving of the NBA’s MVP award.

I entered the four names into a random list generator to get the order, to ensure none of my personal bias could enter into this extremely scientific process. The next step is to go to the store and purchase the requisite supplies. That’s not really all that important, but for clarity I always go with three yoke of oxen, eight sets of clothes and 750 pounds of food. That’s more than enough for how I play The Trail.

With supplies set, it’s time to set up the rations and pace. Since the point of this exercise is to kill off people and get down to the last man standing, the rations are set to meager and the pace is set to grueling to create the most possible chaos. At every river we caulk the wagon and float it. There’s no taking the ferry or hiring an Indian guide, that would be cheating. Fording the river is just outright dumb and is a guarantee to fail on some rivers, so caulking and floating creates the most random results.

Let’s see how our NBA superstars handled their trek.

The guys flipped the wagon on the first damn river, but somehow managed to have no one drown, which is extremely rare for a flipped wagon on The Oregon Trail. As impressively, is three times on the journey they had an axle or tongue break and they fixed it each time. Good at basketball and wagon repair, what can’t these guys do?!

Apparently they can’t navigate a damn trail.

It took over a month for someone to slip up, but finally, Harden is the first to go down with an illness. I’m going to blame the beard, it’s gotta be hard to keep that thing clean on the Trail, and at some point that’s going to cause problems.

We need a road trip to Denver ASAP.

LeBron chuckles, “rest is dumb, huh?” Russ shoots him a death stare.

“This wouldn’t happen if they’d give me another playmaker,” LeBron grumbles from the back of the wagon, wrapped up in blankets.

Kevin Love, out indefinitely.

Westbrook’s such a hot-head, amirite? Yeah, you guys get it.

“Kawhi, you don’t look so good, are you OK?”
*Kawhi stares blankly ahead, shivering*
“Seriously, man. Just let us know if we need to stop or get some medicine or something.”
*Kawhi silently shakes his head*

Note that neither Kawhi nor LeBron have been exhausted. This should settle the NBA rest debate once and for all.

A jersey theft! Call in the FBI!

What an upset! The Oregon Trail cares not for arbitrary round numbers.

Or defense!


Not even a late interference from Kobe could stop LeBron, your 2017 NBA MVP. However…

I’m taking this as a bonus prediction of the Warriors over the Cavs in the Finals. The Trail has spoken.