On Monday, LeBron James was named by the NBA as this season's MVP.
He averaged 28.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.15 blocks, and 1.7 steals – all of which were team highs. You want more stats? Just visit his Web site – the name alone pretty much sums it up: He's really, really, really, really, really, really good.
LeBron led his team to the best record in the NBA, and was clearly the Most Valuable Player by any measuring stick. But why should the most valuable player be the only one getting an award? What about those on the opposite end of the spectrum? It's time to look back at the 2008-2009 NBA season, and count down the Top 10 Least Valuable Players, starting, of course, with the New York Knicks.
When the Knicks hired Mike D'Antoni, it was apparent the roster would undergo a major overhaul. But one player the Knicks couldn't get rid of (no matter how hard they tried, thanks to his $20 million salary) was Stephon Marbury, who didn't play a single minute with New York this season, and refused to play even when D'Antoni was willing to give him a chance.
Starbury was banned from attending practice and games on Dec. 1, but that couldn't stop him from watching the games. In mid-December, Marbury bought tickets to watch the Knicks play the Lakers in Los Angeles. (And they thought banning him would no longer make him a distraction.) The Marbury-Knicks debacle finally ended when they agreed to a buyout at the end of February. Just a few days later, he signed with the Boston Celtics for the league minimum.
To his credit, Marbury has not been a distraction to the Celtics. But he also hasn't been much of a contributor, either. In 23 regular season games, he averaged 18 minutes, 3.9 points, and 3.3 assists per game. He has proven somewhat valuable for the Celtics as another warm body off the (very depleted) bench, but for the Knicks, they couldn't get rid of him fast enough.
Despite the fact that Agent Zero had played in just 13 games the previous season, the Wizards signed him to a six-year, $111 million contract on July 13, 2008. Chances are good they regretted that decision before the ink even dried.
Just two months later, Arenas revealed that knee surgery would keep him out of training camp and the first month of the regular season. That was later extended until late December. Then sometime in January. Then rumors circulated that Arenas might not play at all.
The good news is that Arenas did end up playing, and had an absurd 20-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The bad news: Arenas played in just two games, scoring 26 points, before officially shutting down for the year – all while making over $14.6 million. If you're counting at home, that's $563,594.85 for every point scored, and that “value” (or lack thereof) is under contract until 2014.
From Starbury, who starred as the primary distraction for the Knicks, to Agent Zero, who played in nearly zero games, to our No. 1 player, who somehow managed to hurt three franchises in just one season, these 10 players pack the least bang for their teams' buck.
The "top" five: