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Carmelo Anthony on his MVP voter: ‘I don’t know why he catches so much flak for that’

May 8, 2013, 1:14 PM EDT

New York Knicks' Anthony points to his head as Knicks fans cheer from the sidelines in the fourth quarter in Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series against the Indiana Pacers in New York

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe gave his first-place MVP vote to Carmelo Anthony, making Washburn the only voter not to choose LeBron James, who won the award with 120 of 121 first-place votes.

Huge kudos to Washburn for explaining himself – he’s under no obligation to reveal that he was the Melo voter – but his defense of his vote didn’t exactly stop the criticism. Via the New York Daily News:

“As far as the guy in Boston, I don’t know why he catches so much flak for that,” Anthony said following Game 2. “He has the right to vote for whoever he want. LeBron won the MVP. Why is everybody so mad that he didn’t win it unanimously? . . . Thank you.”

This whole controversy has been unfair to Melo, who just had the best season of his career. Because of Washburn’s vote, there has been a large discussion about why LeBron is better than Melo. But so what if Melo isn’t as good as LeBron? That’s not exactly a huge flaw. But the onus on finding Melo’s flaws detracts from his successful season when we should be celebrating his scoring title career-low turnover percentage.

And now, just as the fire was dying down, Melo reignites it, even though I get he was just answering a question. In doing so, he says something I believe is wrong.

Nobody is really mad LeBron didn’t win unanimously. Everyone dumbfounded a quality basketball journalist – and Washburn is one – could be so wrong. I won’t rehash all the reasoning, which Zach Lowe of Grantland laid out very well, but it’s ridiculous to believe Melo was more deserving of this award than LeBron.

Instead of directing more questions to Melo (though, one was perfectly fair), if we’re going to keep this controversy alive, let’s further question Washburn. I’ll start. If Melo had won MVP – if, to Washburn’s shock, a majority of voters had agreed with him – does Washburn really believe the right player would have been recognized in history as the 2013 NBA MVP?

  1. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I’m surprised he was the only vote that didn’t go LBJ’s way. Not because James wasn’t the best player this year because he was, easily. It’s just that a follow baseball as well and watching sports writers voting on anything is an amusing exercise.

    • fanofevilempire - May 8, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      LeBron doesn’t have a stingie brim hat like Melo……………..

      Melo was stylin and profiling……………

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - May 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    “Wrong” is relative. The award is for most valuable to team’s success, not best player in the league. Without a set criteria, the idea that someone is “wrong” is merely arbitrary. If they were instructed to vote upon certain benchmarks and Anthony did not meet them, then you can call him wrong.

    Otherwise, you just “disagree” with him.

    • ezzz2the - May 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Well said! and BTW Heat without LeBron still make playoffs while Knicks without Melo make the lottery, im not arguing LeBron shouldn’t have won (he should) but to just dismiss Melo isn’t completely fair either

      • mrbhenderson - May 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        The knicks have a 500 record when Melo didn’t play. Put Lebron on the Knicks and they are the best team in the east in my opinion. Lebron makes okay, and good great. Nothing about the Knicks is great besides the delusions of it’s fans.

    • ironyisadeadscene - May 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      well said

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - May 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      But there are still better options for this than Carmelo, such as Stephen Curry and even John Wall.

      • andyhr17 - May 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        If you think John Wall deserved an MVP vote then you’ve never watched a game of basketball.

      • airjunior23 - May 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        stephen curry wasnt even our best player until after all star break….john wall only played fifty games…but his impact was crazy though

    • andyhr17 - May 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      While Melo was more valuable to his team I think that Lebron being the most valuable player on the planet will win out for years to come. This is coming from someone who despises Lebron, too.Who cares if it’s unanimous or not. If you get a vote, you cast it towards who you feel deserves it. This guy thought Melo, more power to him.

    • fanofevilempire - May 8, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Knickerbockers would have done the same without Melo, I laugh at MVP award, why not call it
      ” I better not vote for anyone other than the King ” award
      the King plays with 2 HOF’ers, he couldn’t win alone and joined up forces.

      Kobe has one MVP, THAT IS VERY FUNNY TOO.

      • mytthor - May 8, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Bosh is a HOF’er? That was quick.

        No one can win alone. Melo can’t win period.

  3. airjunior23 - May 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I totally agree…Like i’ve always said, sports (and this world in general) are always looking for a hero. And their willing to f*** anyone over who gets remotely in the way. Lebron (who was def the mvp this year) has benefited from the from that sentiment…for instance Durant is avg 35 13 and 7 over the past two games….what do the analyst say….he’s doing too much. really weird…lebron will have a great game tonite im sure, and what will they say…he’s the best thats basketball has ever seen no doubt about it…. It makes me sick to see how once your chosen, how much the next guy in line has to do to move you out of that spot….Carmelo made 2nd in the east with injuries all around him including himself…lbj dwade and bosh sat out games to rest for the playoffs, because that team is THAT good!!!! Carmelo deserves recognition and Durant does and even Harden does…the list goes. So for people to say that boston globe guy is somehow wrong, that makes them sound dumb as hell….

    • Kurt Helin - May 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I would say most analysts are not saying Durant is doing too much, it’s that he’s not getting any help and is forced to take on too much. Huge difference.

      • airjunior23 - May 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        I agree with you…but a few commentators said he was “doing too much”…it was weird to me…

    • itsonlyaspeedbump - May 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      I understand your larger point and tend to agree with it, we create heroes and refuse to let other more deserving players to take that spot.

      But you have to admit that Lebron is a special case. It was just 2 short years ago when he led his team to the finals and lost, and instead of commenting on how great Dallas played, the conversation was about how much a choking loser fraud Lebron was. And the media and fans as a whole were reluctant to give him any credit until game 5 of the finals last year when they HAD to. And believe me, if the Heat dont win it all this year (and its not the gimme people make it out to be) thenwe will be back where we were 2 years ago where everyone says that he sucks. His hold on the hero status is much more tenuous then you think.

  4. theghostofwillisreed - May 8, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    so this guy catches flak because of a difference in opinion? journalistic peer pressure. how infantile…

    lebron is the mvp, no doubt but we’re going to chastise a writer for not making it unanimous? slow news cycle…

  5. marcusfitzhugh - May 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    If the question is “why wasn’t the vote unanimous?”, then why start with LBJ?

    What about the Big Dipper? Chamberlain destroys the league for an entire career, yet no unanimous vote. For you youngsters, the Big Dipper AVERAGED over 50 points per game for the entire 61/62 season. He shot over 68% for the entire 66/67 season. He had double-doubles (points and rebounds) 81 times in 66/67 season AND he did again (81 double-doubles) the next year. He did a triple-double 31 times during the 67/68 season. Why didn’t he get a unanimous vote?

    During the 1999/2000 season, Shaq was a monster. That season he dominated everyone in his path. Why didn’t he get a unanimous vote?

    What about Jordan? How about Jabbar? Neither of those guys ever got a unanimous vote.

    And don’t even mention Russ. That cat has eleven rings and five MVPs – he should have received MULTIPLE unanimous votes.

    Some years, the NBA should just skip the MVP award.

    • mytthor - May 8, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Chamberlain was always outdone in person and out-won by Russell. They can’t BOTH deserve unanimous MVP’s every year when their careers coincided.

      • marcusfitzhugh - May 9, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        It appears that simply winning the MVP isn’t enough in 2013. Its got to be unanimous. The ONLY unanimous MVP in the history of the NBA. Basically, a SPECIAL MVP.

        Chamberlain, Russ, Jabbar, Jordan – these are guys who changed the face of the game. If anyone deserves a “special recognition” MVP, its these guys. I remember watching the NBA Finals on tape delay at 11:30 at night. Bird and Magic brought the game back to what we see today. Where is their ‘special recognition’ MVP? LBJ gets a trophy because he earned a trophy. 2013 isn’t deserving of an “extra special” version.

  6. yousuxxors - May 8, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    we should celebrate him being on a team which sometimes he still forgets and leading the Knicks to the best team we have seen since the 90s.

  7. yousuxxors - May 8, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    did people get mad at the dick who didn’t vote for Shaq?

    • Kurt Helin - May 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Actually, yes. To Hickman’s credit he also defended himself in public.

  8. jjones314 - May 9, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    People watch way too much ESPN. If you really watch basketball you know Miami is no gimme to win it all. They HAVE NO BIG MAN AND CAN’T GET A REBOUND. Indy, Chicago, and NY have bigs and can get boards thus more second chance opportunities.

    LBJ won a title last year and finals MVP. Critics said he would never win and was so happy he lost to dallas… but the story doesn’t end there bitches. Stop making excuse after excuse. You and Dan Gilbert said he was cursed and would never ever win a title.

    But he did. So go eat a dick.

    Melo needs to win a title not MVP. Time to get his squad to the NBA finals and win it. He’s a great scorer but time win a title.

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