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Former MVPs think Durant edges out LeBron this year

Apr 16, 2012, 4:56 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat Getty Images

It’s going to come down to LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant.

That is your MVP race and it is going to be close. Chris Tomasson at Fox Sports Florida decided to ask 11 former MVPs who would get their vote. Fun idea.

Durant won five votes to four (with two abstentions).

“I think that this year’s MVP award will end up in the hands of Kevin Durant,’’ Abdul-Jabbar said of the Oklahoma City forward. “Durant is my choice as front-runner due to the success of his team. Yes, he is on a young and talented team, but his presence has been the catalyst for their recent dominance.’’

For a dissenting opinion…

“There’s no question LeBron deserves the MVP, with his performance playing a complete game and for a successful team,’’ said Hakeem Olajuwon, the 1994 winner for Houston. “When you look at his contribution to his team and their record, there’s no question he deserves it.’’

I personally lean toward LeBron, but I think the final voting will go a lot like this poll — close but with a slight edge to Durant. While LeBron has had the better statistical season, Durant has a better narrative and his team and person are just better liked in general.

It is close. LeBron is scoring 26.9 points per game on 52.8 percent shooting, with 8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. He has a league best PER of 30.5 and he contributes more on defense than does Durant. Not that Durant is putting up shabby numbers — 27.8 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting with 7.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game and a PER of 26.7.

I don’t think Durant is a bad choice, I just think LeBron has had the better season and done more for his team at both ends of the floor. But when you ask people who write stories for a living to vote, the guy with the better narrative wins whether or not he is the better statistical choice. Ask Derrick Rose.

  1. aboogy123456 - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    KOBE!

  2. florida727 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Kurt, had to close the article by taking a cheap shot at Rose? Really? You took a hit on the respect meter with that one. Yeah, he’s been hurt and not that much of a factor so far this season, but to question what he did last year? Do your homework. He was more than deserving last year.

  3. aboogy123456 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    The MVP award is the biggest bs award it doesn’t matter who wins it anyways. Some people say you have to have one of the best records to be MVP, other people say that you need to be a horrible team if you took that player out, therefore you are most valuable. It’s nearly impossible to have both.

    Everyone has different interpretations of what the definition of MVP really is which is the big problem.

  4. gametight78 - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Is any 1 watching heat games when lbj comes out the game mia sucks bosh is a lil better then beasly heat wouldntgo far if they were in west w.o lebron. Kd and lbj are the same and so are theri teams w.o them. Give it to the player wit better stats lbj

  5. borderline1988 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Both are incredible players. But Lebron has the edge in just about every offensive category (except for PPG, although he’s more efficient) and is substantially better on the defensive end.

    Honestly, when you take both off their teams, I’m not sure which team would be better. I know Miami still has Wade & Bosh, but beyond that, they are really nothing.

    You have to remember that OKC has an incredible all around team. Harden is a prime candidate to win the 6th man of the year award and Westbrook is an all-star. Ibaka & Perkins are substantially better than anything Miami has (outside the big 3). OKC also has great backup guards – Sefolosha and Maynor are way better than any of Miami’s backup guards.
    Throw in Nick Collison, Nazir Mohammed, Aldrich, Cook, even Derek Fisher.
    OKC has a deep, talented team that has at least 10 solid rotation players.

    Miami has the big 3 and that’s it. And while I really like Bosh, he gets shut down completely when matched against good defensive PFs.

  6. gavinbethell - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    An taking Durant over James and Bosh

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