It’s not something that SVG is necessarily happy about, but there’s a chance that LeBron James will win the MVP award for the next several years. According to the Orlando Magic head coach, this is largely due to how the voting media (and myopic fans) view what makes an MVP.
SVG doesn’t believe that defensive-minded players — say, Dwight Howard — ever really get seriously considered for the award. In Cleveland for the Magic/Cavs game yesterday, and dripping with sarcasm, Van Gundy explained his rationale to the assembled press.
The Orlando Sentinel has the quotes:
“You know how the vote’s going to go. LeBron (James) will win the MVP every year until he retires,” Van Gundy said. Van Gundy was likely playing to the Cleveland media. But there’s part of him that feels that the MVP — decided by the media — will be James’ award to lose for a long time. “LeBron has to go into the year and basically lose the MVP. You guys have decided he’s the MVP,” Van Gundy said.
“I don’t even know if Michael Jordan was as hyped as he is, and then [James] goes out and exceeds it.” Van Gundy says that fans and media “view players primarily as scorers … and view most everything else as secondary,” meaning they overlook Van Gundy’s guy, Dwight Howard, the favorite to repeat as defensive player of the year.
“[Defense] doesn’t translate into MVP voting. People look at it as it’s not as important … I don’t understand that.”
There’s no doubt that scorers have the advantage when it comes to gaining votes during awards season, but that has nothing to do with LeBron winning his second consecutive Maurice Podoloff trophy. He unquestionably deserves it, and perhaps will deserve to win the next couple of them, too.
Van Gundy’s gripes will do little to change the MVP voting, but will add some added fuel to the Magic/Cavs rivalry. And should the two teams meet this postseason, both LBJ and Dwight will be given ample opportunity to prove which of the two is most valuable.