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Derrick Rose Calls Kevin Durant Frontrunner for NBA MVP: A Fan’s Take
As a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it has been crazy how Kevin Durant has been the NBA's leading scorer for two consecutive seasons, while helping lead his team to the playoffs both years, and finally reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2011, yet has never won the NBA MVP.
In 2010, it was Kobe Bryant that won the MVP award while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Championship. In 2011, it was Derrick Rose that won the MVP, while leading the Chicago Bulls back to respectability. While I understand Bryant winning the award in 2010, I still can't figure out what made Rose better than Durant last year.
That is me as a fan talking. The players involved have too much respect for each other to talk other players down to build themselves up. In an interview on March 30, Rose came out and said that he has a clear favorite for the NBA MVP in 2012 and he is pulling for Kevin Durant.
Durant is not leading the NBA in scoring right now, which is not that big of a deal. He has won the scoring title two years running and I would rather see him win the MVP this year instead. The man leading the NBA in scoring is Bryant, but the way his Lakers are playing right now, I see Durant having an advantage over him.
Rose also mentioned Kevin Love, who ranks third in scoring with 26.5 and second in rebounds with 12.2 but Love plays for a team with a losing record, a definite negative when deciding the most valuable player. What is interesting is that Rose did not mention LeBron James.
When reading sports sites across the Internet, it is James who is spoken of when the MVP race is mentioned. If you listen to Charles Barkley talk on TV, it is clear that he is pulling for James, but Barkley hates the Thunder, so that is expected. But, looking at the numbers, it is a close race.
Durant is averaging 27.7 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks and James is averaging 26.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.0 steals and shooting a career-best 53.3 percent. Rose knows James well, since both men play in the Eastern Conference and have been battling for the conference's best record.
It is nice to hear the 2011 MVP endorse Kevin Durant but this is going to be a close race to the end, and as a Thunder fan, I have learned not to expect anything.
Author Shawn S. Lealos has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma (2000) and is an avid sports fan that has lived in Oklahoma for over 40 years. He used to religiously follow the Dallas Mavericks until Oklahoma City found a team to call their own.
Other articles by Shawn S. Lealos:
- Have the Oklahoma City Thunder Passed the Lakers as the Best in the West?: A Fan's Take
- Derek Fisher to Show Oklahoma City Thunder How the Lakers Work: A Fan's Take
- Oklahoma City Thunder Vs. Los Angeles Lakers: A Fan's Preview
- An Open Letter to Seattle Super Sonics Fans: An Oklahoma City Thunder Fan's Take
- Oklahoma City Thunder Vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 03.27.12: A Fan's Preview
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