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Celtics beat writer voted for Carmelo over LeBron and it's not that big a deal

LeBron received 120 of 121 votes for the MVP Award, which lends itself to an obvious question: Who didn't vote for LeBron?

LeBron joked during his MVP acceptance speech that "it was probably a writer out of New York who didn't give me that vote." But, alas! The writer is from Boston. Respected Celtics beat writer Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe voted for Carmelo Anthony ahead of James. Washburn's reasoning: Anthony did more for his team than James.

The vote went to Anthony despite James being, in Washburn's his words, "unquestionably" the "best player in the game." Washburn wrote a story in today's Globe explaining his vote. CLICK ME!

"When I placed my NBA MVP vote a few weeks ago," wrote Washburn, "I knew I would be in the minority. I knew LeBron James was the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth award because he unquestionably is the best player in the game."

Was Washburn wrong to vote for Anthony? No, because there is NEVER a definitive answer when it comes to voting for awards based in part on subjectivity. There has never been a unanimous vote for the NBA’s MVP Award. Shaquille O’Neal (1999-2000) is the only other player to receive all but one vote. 

And all this is perfectly fine, of course. LeBron didn't have to win all the votes. That's not the point of the voting format. The point is to get it right, which usually happens. Sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the U.S. and Canada vote for the award along with one vote given to fans and tabulated by NBA.com. Of course there's going to be some variations on the interpretations of what exactly makes a player the league's MVP.

In my opinion (and, yes, I had a vote), the award should go to the player who had the best season based both on individual numbers and team success. But I also factor in intangible things like leadership when I vote for awards like these (I'm also a Heisman voter). Other voters place more weight on a players' value individually compared to the rest of the team. Based on that criterion, it's easy to see how someone would consider not voting for a player from the Heat.

After all, even Erik Spoelstra and LeBron himself will tell you that Chris Bosh is the Heat's Most Valuable Player. See, it's all based on how you think the word "value" translates to basketball.


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