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Winderman: Wade is finals MVP, but LeBron playoff MVP

Jun 7, 2011, 3:49 PM EST

Heat's James celebrates a basket with teammate Wade during Game 1 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami Reuters

It was another of those too-much-time-for-questions moments at these NBA Finals.

Still two victories from an NBA title (which is as many victories as the Heat currently have), LeBron James was asked Tuesday morning if his legacy requires he be named Most Valuable Player of these Finals, as well.

Once again, in what is becoming a daily exercise, James deftly deflected the preposterous.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I’m here to win. That’s all it’s about. Individual accolades take care of itself.

“I’ve got two MVP trophies sitting in my house back in Ohio and I haven’t won anything. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s all about a team game and this is the ultimate team prize right here, just trying to win the NBA championship.

“So I don’t really care. I could trade in my last two MVP trophies to have a ring. I don’t care about individual accolades to solidify myself in the NBA or whatever they’re talking about. It’s ridiculous.”

Of course, what also is ridiculous is how the NBA minimizes the first six weeks of these playoffs when it comes to the only individual honor left at this point.

Make no mistake, Dwyane Wade is MVP of the Finals for the Heat to this point.

But MVP of the playoffs?

James had a higher scoring average than Wade in the opening round against the 76ers (24.2-22.2) and a far higher average in the Eastern Conference finals against the Bulls (25.8-18.8), when Wade finished behind Chris Bosh as the Heat’s third-leading scorer over those five games.

Then we’d have a heck of a debate, even at this point, when it comes to the

The point being that the NBA needs to extend its “Finals” MVP trophy to “playoff” MVP.

Because of the MVP of playoffs for the Heat to this point has been . . .?

Hmm.

Exactly.

If the Heat hold on and win the series and LeBron doesn’t win MVP does it tarnish James’ accomplishment?

In his words, again, “It’s ridiculous.”

But also ridiculous is how the NBA limits individual postseason honors only to the first two weeks of June, and not what has been accomplished since mid-April.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

  1. randysavage4ever - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    honestly who cares…

    is the Finals MVP’s ring any bigger then the rest of the team?

    If Miami is going to win it is going to be a TEAM effort and not a 1 man show… so either way MVP really does not mean anything at this point…

  2. edweird0 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Good article, at least someone is talking about how outrageous it is to assume that it would make LeBron’s championship any less important. Haters ‘gon hate tho….

    • sprest83 - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:54 AM

      How is it a great article? Its a terrible article in every sense. Must be written by a Miami beat-writer. Why are we handing out MVPs when the series isnt even close to be over? Nobody has played better basketball than Dirk this entire playoffs. He has been lights out. But yet you want to crown miami? So stupid.

      • passerby23 - Jun 8, 2011 at 1:10 AM

        Agreed. Why do we have a regular season MVP and a Finals MVP, but no playoff MVP? Lebron has been the best Heat player overall in the playoffs, but he will not get Finals MVP if they win.

        I suppose Dirk isn’t mentioned because it’s just assumed he will win the Finals MVP if the Mavs win. No need to even debate it.

  3. barkley4life - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Well said Macho Man…..well said.

  4. dodgerblue15 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Where was this column when Tony Parker was being named finals MVP over Duncan? Or how about when Kobe carried the Lakers in 2001 and 2002 during the first three (and much tougher) Western Conference rounds? Lebron should’ve gotten the regular season MVP this year. D-Wade is the Finals MVP (if the Heat win). No need for this column…

    • thesaint23 - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      lebum “the queen” james was not the regular season MVP that honor went to Rose – should have and would have is wishful thinking!

      And as for crowning a finals MVP that might be a little early – it is the best out 7 and it just might go the full 7 games if the mavs can win the next 2 games at home.

      if the heat do win will lebum “the queen” james invite his mother, delonte west and some of his ex-cavs team mates to the championship celebration.

      anyone that refers to themselves as the king has the ego of a termite.

      the poor devil will never be the player that Jordan was! (lol, lol)

      God Bless America

      • truthtopowerhaters - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:09 PM

        Saint is such a hater…lol…dude just say you like lebron and you think he is talented….stop with the over the top hatred of anything you dont control or understand….

    • dbick - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:24 PM

      It is kind of amusing now that Lebron is in danger of not being named finals mvp, assuming the heat finish the job, that the Finals mvp award is now somewhat irrelevant and “pointless” to a persons legacy. It seemed up until now being a finals mvp DEFINED a legacy. I don’t hate Lebron, but this article is kind of ridiculous. Be serious, if the heat would win 4 titles and Dwade was named MVP all 4 times do you really think that’s not going to have an effect on Lebron’s legacy?

  5. cordae - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Dont ya think Its a little TOO early to make this assumption? Considering they’re only HALF way to where they need to be? If he were the major option on this team I’d agree. But any given night each one of those guys could explode. I do agree on the whole playoff MVP. But these last two games have been far too close to hand out ANY victories yet. Like Randy said, it really doesnt matter at this point…

  6. purdueman - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Great column analyzing Le Choke’s play the NBA Finals thusfar:

    http://www.cbssports.com/#!/nba/story/15202274/lebron-james-story-of-an-incredibly-shrinking-superstar

    Don’t get me wrong… Le Bum’s an incredibly gifted athlete, but that doesn’t make him an incredibly great superstar. Coffee is for closers; thusfar all James has been seen drinking is Gatorade!

    If I had a vote right now for the playoffs MVP it would go to Chris Bosh. Now Bosh has been seen recently drinking coffee!!!

  7. chargerdillon - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Am I the only one here who thinks Chris Bosh deserves a nod for both playoff and finals MVP?

    Everybody knew who Lebron and Wade were before this season ever started. EVERYBODY questioned whether Bosh was really on their level and in every way Bosh has shown up in both the playoffs and the finals.

    As somebody who didn’t think much of Bosh prior to these playoffs, I’ve got nothing but respect for him and his play. Not to mention he had the game winning shot in Game 3. Lebrons defense could make him finals MVP, Wades leadership could make him finals mvp, and Boshes toughness and clutchness could make him finals MVP. That’s how I see it.

    • edweird0 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      I don’t agree with you on your thoughts about Bosh being the finals MVP but with everything else you’re spot on. I’ve gained alot of respect for Bosh and I hope he continues to be money in the playoffs.

    • passerby23 - Jun 8, 2011 at 1:13 AM

      Tough to give Bosh the nod, in my opinion. He’s still the third option on offense. Probably a good 80% of his offense is created by Wade or Lebron, especially in pick-and-roll scenarios. He hasn’t had nearly the same defensive impact as Wade or James and he hasn’t scored as much. Granted, Bosh has stepped his game up in the playoffs, but not in the MVP discussion.

    • davidly - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      I agree. Bosh has been most consistent and gets what they need (rebounds). Of course this is still based on the Heat getting it done.

      Then again, I don’t necessarily think mvp should go to the winning team, so either way, I believe Nowitzki might deserve it.

      Most folks won’t agree because they are conditioned by the argument from the status quo (who’s the greatest player). But that is not what “most valuable” means, in my opinion.

  8. philtration - Jun 7, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Can everyone stop with the stupid “hater” thing already?

    Calling someone a “hater” every time they disagree with you will make you sound just like one of those 11 year old girls that get all hysterical trying to defend Justin Bieber.
    State your opinion and get over it but please stop talking like a 5th grader all the time.

    • vicktator - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:36 PM

      When were the finals shortened to 3 games?

      • vicktator - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:36 PM

        this was to the story in general, not your coment philtration

  9. vicktator - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    and honestly, i think dirk is the finals mvp, win or lose

  10. diablito0402 - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Haha im a hater i just saw game 4 and yalls boy, the best player in history according to all bandwaggon heat fans who just jumped on their ship just laid an egg with 8 points hahaha i saw the 4 th quarter and didnt even know he was on the floor. Jordan and Kobe would never NEVER have a sorryass finals game in their life.

  11. patriciaulrich - Jun 8, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    why are we even talking about Playoffs MVP? Is it because you are a little insecure that Lebron will not win the Finals MVP that you tried to magnify now what his STATs in the postseason other than the NBA FINALS? Are you a writer for Nike, or on payroll by Lebron?

    Theres is a reason why its called NBA FINALS MVP because it is based on what one player did in the finals.

    You writer always talk about teamplay in a basketball game but yet here you are writing something to magnify ones player accomplishment without shame and an AWARD recognition that should not be even talked about because you are a little bit uneasy that, that singular player might not be given his due in the Finals.

    There is a reason why its called NBA FINALS MVP, because of course it is in the finals, and if your not okay on that, then you might as well start writing to give room for another MVP award like “PLAYOFF MVP other than the FINALS MVP award”, in addition to the Season MVP and Finals MVP the NBA already have.

  12. davidly - Jun 8, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    This is a fascinating discussion with a lot of interesting angles to it. Of course, none of that changes the fact that everyone agrees who the greatest of all time is: A certain man who goes by the name of Skibby MaRue!

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