Report: LeBron to win MVP

According to reports, the NBA will name LeBron James its Most Valuable Player later today.

The Associated Press and Cleveland Plain Dealer, both citing a league source, report that James is to receive the award at his preps alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

James would become the first player in franchise history to win MVP honors. He also finished second in voting for defensive player of the year.

No surprise here. Given his stats, his improved defense, the nature of his supporting case (particularly when compared with Kobe’s) and the Cavs’ league-best record, LeBron is the clear choice for MVP. Kobe fans do have an argument (i.e. the West is tougher, so the record is misleading), but their guy won last season, so he would have had to be the clear winner to really have a shot, if that makes any sense.

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Who is Bill Simmons’ MVP?

Every year, Bill Simmons runs down the MVP race from No. 450 to No. 1 (don’t worry, he skips over a lot of players), and this year is no different.

450. Elton Brand
Dramatically edged out Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady for the coveted LVP (“Least Valuable Player”) Award. Here’s what pushed it over the top: Not only did EB destroy Philly’s cap through 2035, he left the Clips with enough cap space that they reacted the same way looters react during a riot. They wanted to walk out of the store with something … or in this case, Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis, Zach Randolph and a 27-inch Sharp LCD. In a floundering economy, should they have guarded that extra cap room and bided their time like The Team That Shall Not Be Named did? OF COURSE!!!! OF COURSE!!!!! When you include Brand’s luring of Baron Davis to the Clippers, causing the Warriors to overreact with $66 million for Corey Maggette and Ronny Turiaf, you could argue that Brand murdered one franchise and gravely wounded two others. Sounds like an LVP to me.

166. Manu Ginobili
Ways I’d dissuade my stars from participating in the Olympics or World Basketball Championships if I owned an NBA team: $1 million under-the-table bonus for NOT participating; free lease of a brand-new Maybach every year; bribery with help from a secretly recorded sex session with a hooker I hired to seduce them; blowing up the aforementioned Maybach as a final threat not to go; and finally, kidnapping.

Simmons goes on to compare Wade’s career with Jack Bauer’s, and describes all the different reasons why ___________ is his 2009 MVP.

At this point, even Kobe thinks LeBron is the MVP

There’s no doubt that LeBron James is having the best season of his young career. It’s not so much that his numbers are better — it’s the Cavs’ winning ways that have LeBron atop the short list for this year’s MVP. He even has the vote of the player who’s in second place (at least on my list).

Bryant seemed mildly uncomfortable when asked for his MVP choice near the season’s halfway point.

“LeBron,” he said. “Leave me alone about that stuff.”

He then expanded upon his thoughts.

“I’m a big fan of his, obviously,” he said. “I just think the world of him. Playing with him this summer [at the Beijing Olympics], and seeing his work ethic and what he’s about, I just think he’s terrific.”

It probably kills the competitor in Kobe to admit that, but it just goes to show the nature of the MVP race right now. LeBron has improved defensively, is superior in most statistical measures, and he has guided his team to a great record despite not having as much help as Kobe does.

Tonight’s game at the Staples Center should be a good one. I hope we are treated to more than a handful of possessions where the two superstars guard each other.

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