One hundred and twenty-five members of the media filled out a ballot to determine the NBA's most valuable player this season, and out of all those people -- who presumably follow the league closely -- only six did not give Kevin Durant their first place vote.
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According to the voting results released by the league, the voters who chose LeBron James as their MVP over Durant were:
Steve Holman of Hawks Radio Network
Cedric Maxwell, a former NBA star who now calls Celtics games for WEEI in Boston.
Grant Napier, the Kings play-by-play announcer
Bob Fitzgerald, the Warriors play-by-play announcer
Bill Land, the Spurs play-by-play announcer
Al McCoy, the Suns play-by-play announcers
As you'll note, none of these voters happen to cover the Heat, so you can rule hometown bias out of their decision.
It should also be noted that all of the voters above gave Durant a second-place vote.
Considering that the definition of what constitutes a "most valuable player" generally varies from person to person, it's understandable that the vote wouldn't be unanimous during any given season. But what's particularly peculiar about these votes is that the person who these media members selected as their MVP -- LeBron James -- openly acknowledged that Durant deserved the award this season. Repeatedly.
In April, LeBron told the Miami Herald that Durant was "the most consistent basketball player as far as MVP this year" and that "if [Durant] was rewarded with the MVP, it would be great."
And just yesterday, LeBron reiterated that Durant deserved the nod over him, telling reporters, “Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.”
I mean, Greivis Vasquez of the Raptors even compared Kevin Durant to Jesus this season because of his unfathomable skill.
Durant's Thunder team had five more wins than the Heat during the regular season, and they were playing in a stacked Western Conference. Even just in terms of head-to-head statistics, Durant had the nod over LeBron in points, rebounds and player efficiency rating.
It's understandable to vote LeBron James as the MVP of the league in most cases, given that almost anybody would concede that he's the best basketball player on the planet. But voting for James over Durant during a season in which the King himself conceded that another player deserves the honor? Well, that takes a little bit of chutzpah.
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