Carmelo Anthony received one first-place vote for MVP, spoiling LeBron James' shot at a unanimous selection. (Elsa/Getty Images)
LeBron James fell one vote short of making history as the first NBA player to be unanimously selected as MVP. Only one voter selected Carmelo Anthony for first place over James.
The dissenting voter identified himself on Monday morning: Gary Washburn, a Boston Globe sportswriter. Washburn released an article explaining why he voted for Anthony over James, after a series of accusations flew, including that he "went against the grain as some kind of statement."
Washburn explained his reason for voting for Anthony had more to do with the Knicks' success than James' dominance. Washburn's argument for Melo for MVP, from the Boston Globe:
"This isn’t the Best Player in the Game award, it’s the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years.
That’s a long time ago.
Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times."
When Anthony learned that he was the one to take the unanimous vote from James, Anthony said he would "take it," but still tipped his hat to the MVP. From the New York Post report:
“I will take it,’’ Anthony said. “I came into this season with a total different mindset than I had in the past as far as an individual and team. I wanted 50-plus wins, win our division, get out of the first round and hopefully the second round. So everything has been going as I planned. As far as MVP, LeBron gets it. I take my hat off to him. He had a hell of a year. To win 27 straight games, you can’t top that.’’
Anthony finished third overall in the voting, with Kevin Durant claiming runner-up.