Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the entire NBA season, or perhaps cheering for your own team has blurred your vision (which is completely understandable, we all do it), the announcement today that Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is this year’s Most Valuable Player should come as no surprise. Rose landed 113 out of a possible 120 first-place votes (1,182 total points) from sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA MVP fan vote. At age 22, he becomes the NBA’s youngest MVP in history.
Derrick Rose has carried Chicago to the league’s best regular season record this season, despite losing his teammates Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for a good portion of the season to injury. Rose averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game this season, all of which are personal bests. Rose has been a silent star the entire season, letting his game, and massive collection of highlight real plays, speak for themselves. With 23 double-doubles, and 23 games scoring 30 points or better, Rose was the only player to rank in the top ten in both scoring and assists this season.
Dwight Howard was second in voting with 643 points, followed by LeBron James with 522, Kobe Bryant with 42 and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant with 190 points. Rose becomes the first player since Steve Nash in 2005 to win the award after receiving no votes the previous year. Rose also joined some other legendary players with his performance this year. He became just the seventh player in NBA history to average at least 25.0 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds. A mark that only Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James had accomplished before. His season ending totals of 2,026 points, 623 assists and 330 rebounds, makes him only the fifth player in league history to put up 2,000 points, dish out 600 assists and grab 300 rebounds in a single season. Those number have only been accomplished by Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Earlier this week LeBron James was awarded his second consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Award. James became the tenth player in history to win it in back to back style. He averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists during the season, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the best record in the league with a 61-21 finish.
Now LeBron fans can grab a specially designed tee shirt by Nike that commemorates LeBron’s latest achievement. The Nike LeBron MVP Tee is made up of 100% cotton and features a uniquely designed, screen-printed MVP logo on the front and LeBron’s logo on the sleeve.
Available for pre-order now: Nike LeBron MVP Tee Shirt
For the second straight season LeBron James has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player according to reports from within the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. LeBron becomes the 10th player in NBA history to repeat the feat for back to back seasons.
James led the often changing lineup of the Cleveland Cavaliers team to the league’s best regular season record, 61-21. James averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists during the regular season, furthering himself in the annals of NBA history. The only other players to average a minimum of 29 ppg,7rpg and 8 apg, are Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson.
LeBron’s MVP quality performance hasn’t slowed in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, despite a strained and bruised elbow that had the superstar shooting free throws left handed in game five of the first round series against the Bulls. LeBron averaged 31.8 points and 8.2 assists in the series, but his defensive efforts have been equally impressive, averaging 9.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game against Chicago.
LeBron and the Cavaliers will take on the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs beginning on Saturday evening. The competitiveness of these two veteran teams always makes for great basketball. Their last playoff meeting was in 2007-2008, where the Celtics went on to win their 17th NBA Championship. You can bet that the always hungry Cavaliers are probably more than ready to repay the favor.
With the NBA regular season coming to a close, there is a lot of talk of who will win what in this year’s awards. A few of the awards that everyone is anxiously awaiting to see who wins include Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year, among others. There has even been a little bit of “controversy” in the last couple days due to some of the league’s biggest names, or biggest name rather, in LeBron James, sitting out. With everything wrapped up in terms of home court advantage for the Cavs, and other stars like Chris Bosh and Brandon Roy getting injured recently, maybe LeBron and the Cavs have the right idea.
Regardless of whether LeBron is wrong for sitting out while being healthy enough to play, “King James” is definitely one of the favorites to take home this year’s MVP award. If James wins the Most Valuable Player award, it would make him the first to take home back-to-back honors since Steve Nash in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. Lakers fans likely have an uphill battle in getting their voices heard for their superstar guard Kobe Bryant, in large part due to an ankle injury mid-season, but that doesn’t mean the media might not vote the 2008 MVP winner into contention.
A few other players that had MVP quality seasons are Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. Durant led the league in scoring, and his Oklahoma City Thunder to their first winning season since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. While Dwight Howard is a candidate for MVP, he’s likely the undeniable Defensive Player of the Year. Howard leads the league in both blocked shots and rebounds. Denver’s Carmelo Anthony also had one of his best seasons, leading the Nuggets to the top of the Northwest Division.
As far as newcomers to the league this season, there are a trio of rookies that seem to stand out when it comes to exceeding expectations. Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings has played in every game so far and leads the Bucks in both steals and assists, not to mention a few early season scoring explosions. Jennings also put on a scoring clinic in the early part of the season, dropping in 55 points against fellow ROY candidate Stephen Curry. Curry not only leads the Golden State Warriors in assists, but also stepped up with his first career triple-double in early February.
The final candidate that is most likely in the running for the Rookie of the Year award is Sacramento Kings point guard Tyreke Evans. Evans leads the Kings in points, assists and steals. However, his most impressive stat may be the one that lands him in the same company as some of the legends of the NBA. Tyreke will finish the season averaging over 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, making him the first to do so since LeBron James in 2003-04. Only two other players have done the same, hall-of-fame members Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson.
Last year’s Sixth Man of the Year, Manu Ginobili, is a strong candidate for a repeat in the award that honors the best player off the bench. Ginobili has averaged over 16 points a game and nearly 5 assists per game. However, Hawks guard Jamal Crawford has had one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 18 points a game in his first year in Atlanta. Coming off the bench in the ATL, Crawford has continued his habit of hitting game winning shots, adding another to his list this year by hitting a 28-footer to beat the Suns in January.
Although the awards are voted on by the media, we figured we’d give our Eastbay readers a chance to voice their opinion before the award winners are officially announced. Let us know who your choice would be for the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Defensive Player of the Year, or any others we may have missed in the comment section below.