**This is the finale of the fourth annual MVP Series debate. Monday, Phil made his case for LeBron James. On Tuesday, Kenny presented his case for Kobe Bryant, and yesterday, The Reverend Paul Revere, shared the gospel of Dwight Howard.
Today on ETSF, Celia Kelly, a longtime friend of the site, gives us her take on Derrick Rose. Thanks to everyone for checking out the posts, and making this MVP series a success. Enjoy.**
Most: To the greatest extent, greatest amount or degree.
Valuable: a thing that is of great worth, having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities.
We, as a highlight-driven nation, lose sight of what those two words mean. Trust me, I cut highlights for a living, and because I’ve watched far too many games this season for my own good, I’m very desensitized as to what those two words mean as well.
But it’s not just about what those words mean. There’s other questions begging to be answered: Most valuable to who? To their team? To the league? Both. I say it’s both. Because at the end of the day, THAT is what I judge who the MVP is, and hell, I’m convinced you should as well.
After a week of folks making cases for who they thought was most valuable, it’s now my turn to convince you who the MVP is. They say to save the best for last, right?
Well, Derrick Rose, that’s right; the young, ambitious, and arguably most exciting player to watch in the National Basketball Association should and probably will be voted this season’s Most Valuable Player – because he is, after all, a player of great worth to the greatest extent.
Some of y’all say it’s the newly revamped Chicago Bulls defense that is the most valuable part to this team, that’s fine. But we aren’t handing out Most Valuable Team Defense trophies are we? That being said, Derrick Rose is the best player on the best team in the league – not just in the East, the whole entire league.
Take him away and you have the Disappearing Act, Carlos Boozer, and the winner for worst ponytail in the history of the league, Joakim Noah, “leading” a team to a 40-win season at best (and yes, I purposely neglected to mention the highest-paid disappointment that is Luol Deng, because I’ve been advocating a trade for him since Kobe was mad at Mitch and ‘em and threatened to take his talents to the South Side).
Ed the Sports Fan himself wanted to compare the Bulls to the 2007-2010 Cavs, so he MUST agree that since they had a MVP leading a team full of mediocre-at-best players to the best record in the league that the Bulls must have the same attributes, right? (No, Ed, you can’t have it both ways).
Rose led his team from game one to game 82, often times without the help of the two other players that make the most impact. Boozer missed eight weeks for being clumsy. Then, as soon as he returned to the team and got adjusted, Noah missed almost two months leading into All Star break. Not one of the other three MVP candidates had to face that much adversity during this season.
This kid has the ability to close out games. He has shown time and time again that he has the capability, and, more importantly, the will to be the best on the floor every night even when key pieces are missing. If any of you disagree that he is the most valuable player on his team, then you just don’t watch basketball. Is that not why they awarded the reigning MVP with that honor -- for being the best player on the best team?
Not to mention the fact that the Bulls lost only FOUR games in the final half of the season. While the Lakers lost six, including FIVE STRAIGHT entering the playoffs. The Magic lost nine, even with Dwight Howard scoring well over his career average. The Heat? Oh yeah, they lost nine too. And all three teams took Bigga Ls to the Bulls down the stretch.
What you all need to realize is that the Bulls winning all these games is great for the league. This isn’t the same Eastern Conference that LeBron and the Cavs had to navigate through to a league-best in the wins column last season. The East is looking as strong as it has been for years, with big trades during the off-season and at the trade deadline.
This is a conference where Rose had to go against Melo, Amar’e and the Knicks – beat them, Dwight Howard and the Magic – beat them, and LeBron, D. Wade and the Heat – oh, and beat them, too. Every night, this team, with a legacy unrivaled by any team during my basketball-watching days, resurrected itself into basketball relevancy. Who did this? D. Rose did.
There’s too many folks on my newsfeed and timeline either rooting for or against the Bulls – and either way, y’all are talking about them. This team that usually, for the past 13 years anyway, has had little relevance outside of die-hard basketball fans. Now, casual fans have someone to watch and to root for. Who did this? Rose did.
The same way y’all can’t keep giving me passes just because I’m pretty, is the same way you can’t keep giving Kobe passes for being on an all-star caliber and back-to-back championship team. Sure, Dwight may be the most efficient player out of the four mentioned this week, but 99.9 percent of his shot attempts are within two feet of the bucket. He BETTER be the most efficient. That’s no reason to give him the Most Valuable Player award. And LeBron? He’s not even most valuable to his team. He is a part of the best supporting cast in the league. Statistically, those three outshine Rose every night. But it’s not all about the statistics – nor should it be. We have scoring titles for a reason.
This isn’t even about being the best player in the league or even the best at your position. What this comes down to is those two words, most and valuable – and who said player is most valuable to. In the end, it's Derrick Rose.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!