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Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  75 responses

Stan Van Gundy: LeBron’s Going to Win MVP Every Year

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

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.

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  • Ken

    Well, it IS hard to argue that LBJ isn’t MVP this year. But I think SVG’s critique about defense isn’t entirely true about LeBron. Sure, when Nash won it, defense wasn’t a factor, but I think the team record is what’s most looked at, then stats.

  • slamfan4life

    Its cuz LeBron worships the Devil…………. lol, anyone else hear about the crazy b.s.?

    but yeah lebrons a beast, i can see him doin this shit easy

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    you have to give dwade consideration too. where would the heat be without him? he pretty much scores or assists on every basket.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/03/paul-pierce-and-the-celtics-hearing-boos/ L

    Durant anyone? He’s playing like an MVP as far as im concerned

  • http://Slamonline.com Mvp23100

    Lbj deserves the mvp more than any player in the L lets be realistic dwight and the rest are balling but lebron is playing next level right now

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Hmm. It’s not like Lebron is a BAD defender. I don’t think he’s a GREAT defender, but he is a hell of an imposing one. MJ won MVP awards not merely because he was a great scorer, too.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Wasn’t a major reason behind LeBron NOT winning prior to last year BECAUSE of his lack of D? Same thing with Kobe Bryant?
    Yes, they both had great seasons statistically (and win/lose wise), but D was a big factor in deciding who won those MVP’s.
    (Someone should probably mention Steve Nash now. Then someone else counter with Tim Duncan not exactly winning scoring titles, and so on, and so forth.)

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Let’s put it this way: if Dwight somehow expands his offensive repertoire and puts up 28 ppg next season, along with his usual 13 rebounds and 3 blocks or so, the MVP will be his to lose. And he would’ve surpassed Shaq.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Neither of the Van Gundy brothers ever full think out what they say. LBJ does have several more MVPs headed his way during is career but he does not hold a monopoly on it. Cats like Kobe, Wade, Melo, Durant, and even Dirk are always in contention. This year LeBron is a slam dunk for MVP though (wrote about it at my site). Maybe Howard would get more consideration if he turned the ball over less and stopped blocking shots into the crowd.

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    Tim Duncan and KG won MVP honours being both good offensive and incredibly good defensive players in their prime.

    I like D Howard. I think he’s a great player. The Magic need to take advantage with him sometimes and actually give him the ball more on offense. There have been games I watched where they forget he’s on their team on offense.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    LDR 4 – my main criticism of Dwight defensively is that he blocks shots into the crowd. It’s stupid, because you’re just letting the team get the ball back, forcing you to expend more energy on D. Timmy and KG would always try and block it to themselves, or a team-mate. Same with Hakeem and Shaq (sometimes. More than Howard, that’s for sure).
    It’s also a sign of immaturity.
    When Dwight says “give me the ball!” – he get’s it, like his 40+ game vs. the Cavaliers in the C Finals last year. He COULD dominate the game offensively if he had the mind-set. But he doesn’t, so he can’t. Until that happens, he’s not the most valuable player in the NBA.

  • T-Money

    That’s just a coach taking care of his superstar’s ego. Would Stan really feel this way if he were coaching the Cavs? Of course not. I find it funny that SVG says that the media had basically handed the MVP to Bron before the season began without really touching the crux of the issue: does he or does he not DESERVE it? ”We don’t believe you, you need more peo-ple”

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    It’s not like Lebron started out the unstoppable offensive force he’s been the last 2 seasons. He had pretty bad shooting form and was an unreliable shooter, even that year he torched Detroit in the ECF, he did most of his damage inside. He also honestly improved his defense quite a bit too, and I’m not talking about his flashy chase-down blocks. Remember what his role on Team USA in Beijing was? Besides doing a bit of everything, I think his biggest contribution to the Olympic gold was his D. Lebron has gotten better and better every year. I like Dwight Howard – his defensive presence has improved for sure, as his maturity and decision-making, but he’s just… an unreliable offensive weapon.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Ahh. Well put, Hursty.

  • Boogie

    LBJ is mvp cos he plays a very well rounded game thast just the truth, Dwight does not. He has a looong way to go offensively. Yes stan you need to have BOTH. Also, why does everyone always beg for him to get the ball on offense? Are you watching their games or looking at stats? Yes he has a super high field goal percentage and when he gets a lot of touches the magic normally win. BUT this only happens when Dwight is allowed to catch oops all day or get inside the no-charge zone, where he can go up and dunk it on whoever however he likes. He does not have a solid repertoire of post moves and he certainly can’t make his way down to the low post from the top of the key. When they do force-feed him there are a lot of turnovers and missed opportunities that would be better off in someone else’s hands, where Dwight can either clean up on missed shots, or after someone creates room for him to move he can get to his comfortable spot next to the rim for oops and dunks. This is why its easy to make dwight a non factor on offense, not because the magic wouldnt like him to play…

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Did anyone watch last season’s The Ultimate Fighter? When I watched Marcus “The Darkness” Jones, it reminded me so much of Dwight. Gentle giant of a man, has the physical tools to outright dominate, and the talent/ability too. But the mindset? Lacking. Why is Brock Lesnar the UFC heavyweight champion? He’s kind of a jerk, and I think he really wants to main his opponent. It’s the same with Shaq. Shaq, in his prime, would demand the ball, score 40 on you and foul out your entire frontline, all the while making jokes about their manhood.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Why does everyone knock on Dwight’s offensive game? Because it’s just frustrating as a real fan to watch him continue like this. His is a great defender, and truly truly has the potential to be an unstoppable attacker. BUT the way Dwight and SVG get all emo/defensive/sensitive about ANY criticism about Dwight’s offensive game, will he ever improve? Why not take the criticism in stride, constructively, and prove everyone wrong next year? Orlando didn’t lose to the Lakers because Hedo wasn’t as good as Vince Carter. They lost because Dwight was so predictable that the Lakers’ team defense smothered him, neutralizing their spacing and making their shooters a lot less open sans their sole inside presence.

  • Fat Lever

    Don’t see how Stan can predict the future like that, especially if a guy like Wade moves to a team that gives him more help. All Wade needs is a little support behind him, and he has the talent to be in the same type of argument.

  • cramzy

    Wade & Durant are going to win in the near future and Dwight will get his one day…but SVG come on son!.. you cant front on 29-8-7 and the best record in the league. Im sorry! If Lebron keeps that up, he deserves it every year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Todd Spehr

    Defense doesn’t translate to MVP voting? Since the media vote started in 1981, Jordan, Olajuwon, and Robinson all won MVPs and were elite defenders. As a matter of fact, MJ and Olajuwon both won MVPs and DPOY in the same season (’88 and ’94 respectively).

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    First off Dwight is nowhere near his prime,second Orlando likes jacking up so many threes they forget about passing Dwight the ball in the post,and third everybody crying about him blocking the ball in the crowd they still count as a block.

  • Lazarus

    lol i love gundy. Dirk deserves way more mvp credit than given. 25 8 on insane shooting percentages and 2nd in the west. 2nd to bron imo.

  • Jeff Henderson

    To some extent I think Van Gundy is right. I don’t agree with his reasoning though. Lebron will win alot of MVP’s simply because he is that good. He is already a dominant player, and if he can improve his outside shot he will be unstoppable.

  • http://slamonline.com CB 34

    It has nothing to do with Dwight improving or anybody else. If you’re averaging almost 30 plus 7 boards and 8 stocktons then he should win every year. They’ve had the best record the last 2 years and as long as that’s the trend, he should win every year. We can’t penalize the guy for being that good and dominating. Durant will just score, just like Melo. Wade with a good team might be the only one to come close the next few years. Don’t think Kobe will get another one. Dwight has a ways to go. Just don’t see the trend changing anytime soon. Bron bron is that good.

  • mack

    Dwight is gonna win his MVP one day

    and its not like Bron doesn’t play defense

  • larrylegend

    @ Ken: if a player hasn’T won a mvp, the first look is at the team’s record. but if u have won it once, that should not and is not the main factor, i think.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    At least Stan convinced Tim Povtak not to vote for him.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    You cannot be the MVP of the League on 9 shot attempts a game (thats a ridiculous idea though, to only give dwight the ball for 9 shots, someone should be fired). The MVP is the guy you rely on on both sides of the court. Not just one.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CathedralsRecords?feature=mhw4 Earl

    Well, he shouldn’t. Kobe Bryant, in my opinion, is still better than LeBron James. LeBron can jump higher, and is much more of an athlete,and not the best “closer”, he’s just the best player, period.

  • Ronald

    I love how people knock Dwight’s offensive game despite shooting 60% on the season despite the fact that LBJ’s offense is as unpolished as Dwights in some respects (which makes it even more incredible that he’s shooting 50% and damn near 30 ppg) Both players rely on their unnatural freakish athleticism to do what they do, just in different areas. So, it’s not solely because Dwight has no offensive game or because DHo doesnt affect the outcoe of the games. JVG is correct in some respects that scoring is given higher weight in the NBA but thats not the sole reason that LBJ will win it over Dwight.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    oh and i hope everyone realizes that per minute….LeBron is having the best season OF THE STAT KEEPING ERA (Which means the second best season EVER, behind only Wilts 50PPG Year) This is per minute people not per game

  • RedRum

    MJ won it 5 times because he was the best two-way player ever. He was both the best offensive player AND the best backcourt defender. This starts to be the case for LBJ. He is the best offensive player in the league, and probably one of the best defenders as well. People seem to forget how difficult it is to do both well.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    The guy averages 30, 7 and 7 and his team has the best record in the NBA. How does that not spell MVP. If he does that every year, then he should win it every year. Dwight Howard doesn’t lead his team. Sure he blocks shots and unk on cats, but he doesn’t lead. He doesn’t demand the ball, he doesnt bark on dudes for taking bad shots when he has position. Until he does those things, he will be overlooked. You can’t compare Dwight to LBJ in terms of their games, but you can compare him to Shaq and Shaq would never, ever sit there and let his team jack 3s while he’s sitting in the post, without voicing his displeasure.

  • LA Huey

    LBJ’s defense = Dwight’s offense
    LBJ’s offense > Dwight’s defense
    There you go, SVG.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Haha wow.
    SVG: “Guys! Stop complaining to the refs! Let’s be tough and win this game! BRB gotta b!tch to the media”

  • WolfNast

    How can LBJ not win it. I mean his team is garbage without him.

  • Rob

    Well, Lebron is the MVP basically because his team sucks. The Cavs are nothing, they can’t even defeat Chicago without him. No team in the league depends more on a player than Cleveland.

  • thalilbigkahuna

    Stan Van wouldn’t be upset if Lebron played for him. I don’t think there is any question that ‘Bron is the MVP, but the Cavs did play a pretty close game against Orlando without him.

  • Elias

    Wade should’ve won it last year. And if scorers are the frontrunners, why has Kobe won only 1?

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai

    The problem with Van Gundy’s logic is, the point of the game is to SCORE. Yeah, scoring wins championships, but outside of Bill Russell, every single legendary player has been more of a scoring threat than a defensive threat, and they are SURROUNDED by defensive players.
    Van Gundy knows this, he’s just stickin’ up for Dwight.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    this is about to take a turn to the illogical, with Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant supporters coming out of LALA Land to say something erroneous

  • T-Money

    SVG is kinda bs’ing here because he would absolutely call for Bron to be the unanimous MVP if he were the Cavs coach.

  • liam

    i disagree with stan. i think wade will win a few. i agree with coach mike d’antoni and what he said last night that wade is the best player in the league, just doesnt have as much help so isnt as motivated to start this year and is somewhat waiting for next yar

  • black pinoy

    lets cut the crap,, he’s just saying that because dwight plays for him.. lebron is playing like a demi god…if lebron doesnt win mvp, then kobe,wade, melo durant etc etc.. theres alot of players that are more valuable to their teams than dwight is to orlando.. teach dwight 5th grade post up moves and then well talk..

  • Kelly

    First of all and foremost, someone need to state exactly what the criteria is for being MVP. It seems to be different each year. The criteria should not change based on the player you want to have it. Is there anyone out there that can tell me what the criteria is? I would venture to say that not even those who vote for MVP would agree on the criteria. I believe everyone use their own; and it boils down to who you like (for whatever reason) or who you don’t like (for whatever reason). AM I RIGHT OR WRONG?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If you think anyone is deserving of MVP over LeBron James then your either A)Retarded or B)Full of Sh*t

  • liam

    who really SHULD HAVE won mvp awards

    2004: KG
    2005: Shaq
    2006: Kobe
    2007: Nash
    2008: Chris Paul
    2009: Wade
    2010: Lebron

    getting to the playoffs should be enough team success for mvp award if the 2nd best player on the team is lamar odm or udonis haslem (wade last year and kobe in 06),, seriously

    but since you gotta win at least 50 i give you this

    00: shaq
    01: shaq
    02: duncan
    03: kobe
    04: kg
    05: shaq
    06: wade
    07: nash
    08: kobe
    09: lebron
    10: lebron

  • Jackie Moon

    The criteria for MVP should be : have you ever scored more than 80 points in a regular season? No? Then you cannot be MVP.

  • Jackie Moon

    The criteria for MVP should be : have you ever scored more than 80 points in a regular season game? No? Then you cannot be MVP.

  • Shem

    Durant deserves MVP, he’s averaging more points and their even at rebounds. LeBron hands down has the assists, blocks and steals but look at his supporting cast compared to Durant. Durant’s on a much younger team while cleveland’s bench can be the Thunder’s starting line. Varejao who comes off the bench could easily start over Kristic

  • Jackie Moon

    The criteria for MVP should be : have you ever scored more than 80 points in a regular season? No? Then you can not be MVP.

  • Jackie Moon

    The criteria for MVP should be : have you ever scored more than 80 points in a regular season game? No? Then you can not be MVP.

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    alonzo mourning > dwight howard…..not convinced he’ll EVER win an MVP as long as Lebron, Durant, DWade, Melo, CP3 are around. SVG is right, u cant win MVP on defense alone. I DO see D-12 winning like 10 Defensive Player of Year awards though. And that in itself is n accomplisment!

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    alonzo mourning > dwight howard…..not convinced he’ll EVER win an MVP as long as Lebron, Durant, DWade, Melo, CP3 are around. SVG is right, u cant win MVP on defense alone. I DO see D-12 winning like 10 Defensive Player of Year awards though. And that in itself is n accomplisment!

  • robbed.

    Chris Paul was robbed by Kobe.

  • LA Huey

    @Shem,
    1. Bad call on the stats. You need to look at all of them.
    2. You can claim CHECK MY $TATS having a better supporting cast than KD but are you ignoring that he led that team to clinch the league’s best record two weeks before the playoffs?
    3. Cleveland is a deep team but that bench is overrated. A great deal of their players are specialists with glaring weaknesses that will be exploited by rival coaches.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Whats going to happened to Durant this year pisses me off. James has a way better supporting cast than Durants. KD is the MVP because if you take him off the Thunder they are the Nets. If you take LeBron off the Cavs they are ATLEAST a 7th seed. It reminds me of what happened in 2000 the year Allen Iverson should have been MVP but Shaq got picked. Take Shaq off the Lakeshow in 2000 and they are still a great team, take AI off the Sixers and they are the worst team in the league that year. Its going to happened again this year because people just don’t seem to understand the term VALUE. sh!t! Durant will get his though.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    and yes Van Gundy is right and James does worship the Devil.

  • Michael Scorn

    Too bad for LeBron, you don’t win the championship by votes.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Defense doesn’t matter? DEFINITELY not true. Tim Duncan won back-to-back MVPs in part because his defense is incredible.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    If the MVP is a joke, the All-NBA Defensive Selections are a f*cking shamockery.
    Last year, All-NBA 1st Defense: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard.
    Are you f*cking kidding me?! The All-NBA Defensive 1st Team is basically a mirror image of the All-NBA teams, catering to the biggest superstars. LeBron James is NOT that good of a defender, and neither is Wade or even KOBE.
    Kobe is seen as this f*cking lockdown defender when he doesn’t even guard the best players of the opposing team. F*ck that sh!t, the whole NBA Awards system NOW is bullsh!t and designed to cater to superstars and hyping up the people who are already hyped beyond reason.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Tell me, what kind of “professional” sports league is designed so that its BEST players are given preferential treatment by the referees–who, by the way, are supposed to be impartial–over players they are ALREADY better than?
    Back when Wilt Chamberlain played, they changed the rules to make basketball HARDER for him, to LIMIT his advantage over other players. So how is it at all logical in today’s game for the BEST players–who are already given a talent advantage over other players–to get an even further advantage from the referees?
    Oh yeah, I know: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ It’s all a stupid business.
    I love the game, but I hate the GAME.

  • The Philosopher

    @CB34: Did you find what I was asking you for for like… 50 years???!!!

  • The Philosopher

    @CB34: Anyways, it’s still good to hear you on these threads, man. And, I’m really being serious.

  • ai come back

    yo man shut the hell up u ppl talking about kd’s supporting cast ok rite here ppl keep tlkin bull about shaq after being the most dominatn center ever so u can cross him out mo vs russell thats mo but just barely, jeff green over antawn?? again u can barely make that statement ….james harden is defintley more solid than any of the shooting guards ont he cavs lebrons bettern durant live with it his supporting cast is better cuz hes been around longer so the team had more time to help him out in probably 3 years durants gonna have a fellow allstar in either trade or simply his bros shining as well lebrons mvp this year no ifs and or w/e s oh ad the seoncd best season of all time would have to be mjs 32.5 8 and 8 first bnest is oscar’s triple double how the hell does 50 pts compare iwth that and 20+ rebounds against all averaged sized guys who no offesne are barely anything athletic-wise compared to todays players

  • http://Yahoo.com 3233569658

    Why are all of you fighting just give it to KObe then watch when the playoff start he’s unstoppable. Remember last years finals he killed the Magic. If he doesn’t get it then he’ll get Finals MVP.

  • The Ghost of Wilt Chamberlain

    Finals MVP is much more noteworthy than regular season MVP anyway. Just look at Jordans career and the years Barkley etc won the MVP over him. Guess who had the last laugh during those seasons?

  • Roc

    I don’t know, I think Durant is going to blow up in the next couple of years. He is poised to surpass LeBron on all levels. The offense, rebounding, and defense are already right there with ‘Bron. He has already surpassed Melo and Wade, IMO. Kevin Durant is the next NBA and Nike superstar.

  • Toni Kukoc

    KD35 is the Next Clyde Drexler/Bernard King as long as LBJ is playing

  • Coney Islander

    My measure for a true MVP is how their team would fare without them. Lakers sans Kobe, 4th seed playoff team, Cavs sans LeBron, 8th seed playoff tops!

  • Fizzbuzz

    I don’t understand how people are handing him the MVP for the next decade if the dude can’t even average a double-double.Everyone stools over his “almost” averaging a triple-double, let’s see him put up 10 boards or assists per night before we get carried away. I’m not saying that he couldn’t, but given his ability he should be able to. After all, the MVP is very obviously all about stats.

  • Ronald

    @Coney Islander: I agree that LBJ deserves the MVP but Lakers without Kobe 4th in the west? Really?

  • clos1881

    Melo never really gets mentioned in these discussions imo dude was the best player in the playoffs last year

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  • jone

    SVG is crazy… howard will never ba an MVP coa he will never be a go to guy PERIOD… if defence is his criteria well rodman should have been multiple MVPs… truth to be told… who would u pick 1st is ur building a team? howard or james? im sure even SVG will pick james.

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