Hollinger: No Way to Define MVP in Rose's Favor

Hollinger: No Way to Define MVP in Rose's Favor

John Hollinger at ESPN wrote his annual full MVP analysis article. In the chat that followed, he listed the common arguments for a player as MVP and noted that all of those arguments favor at least one other player over D-Rose.

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In his Mar. 31 "Per Diem" at ESPN, John Hollinger calls the coronation of Derrick Rose as MVP of the 2010-11 season "The Derrick Rose Story" and makes the case that there is no argument for Rose as the MVP; that they're just stories.

He took plenty of questions and comments regarding his post and added to his argument, responding directly to criticism:
  • On how he dare state Rose isn't MVP:

    "Here's the thing -- when people ask themselves if Most Valuable should mean Best Player on the Best Team, or Most Irreplaceable, or the Just Plain Best, or the Did The Most With the Least ... none of those answers are Rose. ([Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James], Howard are the correct answers [in order]). I can't see any way to define "most valuable" where Rose comes out as the answer."

    I posted this quote on Twitter and it's caused a tad of an uproar, but no one's actually refuted it -- just as no one could when I recently raised the same point. The only argument is regarding the first and fourth argument, but any argument stating the Bulls are better than the Lakers is marginal at best and the "most with least" is ignorant of the fact that the second-place team in the Central Division is currently 34-42. At 35-39 through 70 games, the Bulls would be the #4 seed and to suggest they'd be worse than that is so insane, it's barely worth entertaining with a response.

  • On who would be on his five-man MVP ballot:

    "Interesting question, because if I had a ballot in real life I'd probably put Rose on it at 4 or 5 so as not to overly influence the vote."

    I found this most interesting, not because it was unexpected, but because I find Hollinger is straw manned as a "Rose-hater" all too often. This is beyond insulting, not only because it questions his bias, but because it states he's making arguments to support a desire from the same base level of passion as his critics -- as opposed to analyzing evidence to form a conclusion.

  • On Bulls having the top record in the East, despite missing games from Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah:

    "The issue isn't whether it's valuable. The issue is whether it's more valuable than what's been done by every single other player in the entire league. Orlando is third in the NBA in defense with no good defensive players except Howard. Ponder that for a second. Tough to compete with value like that."

    This gets to the heart of "most with the least" because it points out the Naked Emperor of many arguments to say that: (a) the Bulls and Magic both win primarily because of defense; (b) though Rose is a super-strong defender, to say the least, the basketball axiom is that defense is a team concept; and (c) it's a complete mindfuck that Dwight Howard is crushing that axiom -- surrounded by that tub of goo on the defensive end -- to remain only behind the Bulls and Celtics in defense.

    The Magic don't win primarily because of defense like the Bulls do; they win primarily because of Howard's defense. These statements to Rose and Howard's value should be uncontroversial.

  • On Rose being irreplaceable:"

    "Name one C the Magic would trade Howard for. Name one SG the Lakers would trade Kobe for. Name one SF the Heat would trade LeBron for. Sorry, gotta do better than that. The Bulls would never trade Rose for Westbrook, but if it happened they would be in largely the same place."

    To add: there is no one as replaceable as the undisputed most dominant big man in the NBA. LeBron James is so extremely elite that he can be arguable, but that's marginal at best, and still requires stretching truisms about the game.

  • On Rose doing it with nothing:

    "Rose is more responsible than any one else on the Bulls ... but the responsibility is a lot more widely distributed than it is on most teams. Like I mentioned in the story, Boozer, Noah, and [Luol Deng] would all be Orlando's second-best player, so it's tough to make the Rose-has-done-it-with-nothing claim. And the bench, of course, has been lights out."

    This goes to the secondary reason, on the court, that the Bulls win so often: their depth. It's the key to their team defense being successful. And even when they don't score, neither does the other team. This is fact.

  • On Rose getting better through the year:

    "Actually, his stats since the All-Star break are Baron-esque, but the Bulls have been winning anyway."

    To say Rose has produced like Baron Davis is a wow, but a true wow. Hollinger was immediately confronted on this with the example of Rose's weekend performance in Milwaukee, and responded:

    "Because there were 19 other games since the break, and he shot bricks in most of them, except for the one where he had ten turnovers. Look, if Rose averaged 30 and 17 then he'd obviously be the MVP, but you can cherry pick the best games from lots of players and make them look like an MVP. But he's at 40.8% since the break and 28.9% on 3s."

    Is Hollinger saying that Rose is no better than Davis? Hell no. Is he saying Rose has been as bad as Davis? Hell no. He's stating that the Bulls happen to winning, despite Rose's increased recent inefficiencies to prove that the claims implying the Bulls are shit without him are garbage.

    Is Hollinger stating that the Bulls are #1 in the East, let alone a title contender without Rose? Absolutely not. But he's acknowledging that without the roster generally managed for a defensive genius like Tom Thibodeau, they'd be worse than Rose-less.

A chat commenter who listed himself as from Chicago, stated to Hollinger: "Hey John, big Bulls fan here. I think you're probably right about this MVP debate, but you still suck."
Stupid because it's irrational, right? It's jibberish because it outwardly defies reason, right?
Brian Cook at Thank You Isiah quite possibly posted the only argument for Rose as MVP and it's a dandy. It's beautiful because it's from the heart of the Rose Story: the heart.
I fail to properly entertain the suggestion anyone is more exciting to watch than Rose and this is unique to localized fanbases. He's humble, but ferocious. Quiet, but fearless. And when you're in tune with the silent assassin, he erupts with emotion and you find yourself controlled by him from the inside-out as he controls the halfcourt.
When the most exciting player in the NBA is definitely a top-five MVP candidate with the conference lead over the Celtics and Heatles, it's difficult for consumers of the game to put what makes him most valuable to their basketball experience aside for the analytics.
The US government has entered a fifth war (on top of airstrikes in Yemen and assassins in Somalia) while economic insecurity makes our culture beg for momentary pacification through entertainment -- among other things. Sports are first and foremost entertainment and there's a reason why humans, not computers, select the MVP; because human consume sports for no other utility than to be entertained away from what creates our need for the mindless entertainment.
Cook's argument is compelling because it's viscerally relatable. It's valid because it isn't masqueraded in objectively declarative terms, but is unapologetically honest in its complete subjectivity.
That said, I accept Hollinger's arguments as most reasonable.

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  • The simple answer is that people don't just use statistics when making these kind of decisions. And there's nothing wrong with that. There will always be outside influences when it comes to giving out things like awards. People like Hollinger want to pretend that everybody should think like some sort of cyborg, but most humans aren't wired that way. They factor outside influences into their preferences....Imperial Margarine with the fancy new crown logo beats Imperial Margarine in a plain tub...in a taste test. People think one wine is better than another when they know the price tags. People tend to buy more singles when they already are popular and they prefer going to busy restaurants.

    Moreover, I don't think you can truly measure impact when you're dealing with an organization of human beings who are designed to be connected mentally, physically, emotionally. It's part of the human component. You cannot cut that part out of the equation just because you can't measure it.

    To me, it's Hollinger who thinks too narrowly. He needs to look at the big picture -- because as someone who works for a high profile media network like ESPN, he reaps some of the same type of benefits that Derrick Rose does.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I think you're straw manning Hollinger by saying he wants to "pretend that everybody should think like some sort of cyborg." He's using data to form a conclusion and weighing that data in a certain manner. If you want to refute how he's weighing the data, that's one thing, but his analysis is anything but narrow.

    Weighing such data isn't just throwing a bunch of statistics together; it's scrutinizing the data itself, but still making "decisions" based on evidence and applying the standards to form that conclusion universally. Just because it's scientific and logical doesn't make the method incapable of interpreting the value of a human's production versus that of other humans.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    That misses the point entirely. I'm not dismissing his statistics or the manner in which he obtains them. I'm just saying there's more to the game. There will always be an unknown element that is admittedly subjective. Whenever we're dealing with complex organizations of human beings it should be fairly obvious that not everything can be measured and defined by numbers.

    This human element is also true for those who vote for the MVP. Anytime you have an award decided by voting, you're going to have outside influences affect people's choices. But it's the human element that makes the game fun for most people, so if people like Derrick Rose better than LeBron James, so what? That's life.

    Maybe stat guys can create their own award based purely on numbers. Call it Player of the Year and analyze exactly why the player deserves it. But you know what? I'll bet there will be little interest with the broader fan base. And that's really what the NBA is about. That's really what any business is about.

    Hollinger is smart enough to know his stats. He should be smart enough to know how the world works.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I couldn't agree more. Statistics in sports are so readily available nowadays that people try to use them to "prove" everything. The fact of the matter is that sports are about much more than an accumulation of statistics. I believe this whole-heartedly. Intangibles matter. Otherwise, the best team on paper would win every time. They don't. This is more apparent in baseball analysis, but it seems to be creeping into the NBA as well. I'm all for intelligent discourse, but simply saying this is why and giving a number is not really that relevant in sports (at least not as relevant as so many want to make it).

    Rose may not be better than LeBron, but if that's the case, shouldn't he just win every year? Or the best player on a bad team win every year? It should be based on overall value and value (no matter what any statistic says) is a perceived thing and perceptions are not always wrong.

    This Bulls team is going to be the number one seed in the East. That doesn't happen without Rose. Yes he has better role player than Howard, but Howard also does not have his team in the one seed.

    My biggest problem is that journalists are not statistical analysts. They don't consider every outlying factor, they just consider those that support their point. It's a flawed argument from the outset by using it as the only basis of an argument.

    I also enjoy how all the journalists refute the claims of the actual players (who seem largely in the court of Rose) I guess those players don't know the game well enough.

  • In reply to PawsOut:

    Intangibles are less marginal in basketball than baseball, but less of a factor in producing wins than in, say, hockey or football or soccer. I'm not saying they're completely marginal in basketball, but with the data collected and formulated in the NBA, the statistics provide overwhelming evidence on the offensive end of the ball.

    Of course, the infancy of the statistical revolution in basketball leaves a hell of a lot to be discovered, but what's most significant isn't intangible. There's a difference between unknown or not-yet-clarified and intangible.

    As to your point on journalists, the larger problem is indeed that they're ignorant of outlying factors. The actual journalists do noting but relying basic totals from box scores and per game averages with quotes. There's no data analysis or eyeball scouting at all from beat reporters and the commentators just develop and push storylines for dramatics.

  • In reply to walrus:

    I'm not saying you're dismissing statistics, but adding "there's more to the game" implies Hollinger is ignorant of this -- whether intentional or not.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    The thing is the MVP is part all of those things, and Rose is in the argument for all of them.

    You could argue that Rose has done the most with the least. Out of the elite teams, Rose has great depth, but he has the worst second option of any great team.

    Derrick Rose is the best player on the best team. According to John Hollinger's own rating system, the Bulls are the best team in the NBA. Here is the link: http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

    How can Hollinger argue that Rose is not the best player on the best team when his system marks the Bulls as the best team?

    Finally, you could argue that he's the most irreplaceable as well, but I'm not sure what that means, there are fewer guys like Dwight Howard than Derrick Rose in the NBA, but if the Bulls lost Rose they might be a lotto team. To go from 1 seed to lotto team with one guy is a pretty huge differential, I'd imagine that the Lakers would not be a lotto team without Kobe, the HEat definitely would not be one without LeBron as Wade and Bosh could increase their load.

    The Magic would definitely be one without Howard, but the drop from 4 seed to lotto isn't nearly so big as the drop from 1 seed to lotto.

    What's ironic about Hollinger's argument is that Rose isn't a slam dunk for any of these things, but he's a viable candidate for each and every one of those criteria while none of the other candidates can claim that.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Nice of Hollinger to contend that Deng, Boozer and Noah all give Rose a lot to work with while conveniently leaving out that the latter two have missed nearly 60 games this season. There was a 30-game stretch in which the Bulls had Keith Bogans as their starting 2-guard and Kurt Thomas as their starting Center.

    Hollinger also pretended in a tweet to Ric Bucher that Rose was responsible for the loss to the Sixers, which is complete and utter nonsense.

    MVP is always subjective, but I don't take anything Hollinger says seriously anymore.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    What the hell is "straw manning?"

    Hollinger picks LeBron as "the person who has done the most with least"? Over Howard? Huh? The guy that abandoned the city near his hometown that was completely invested in him to collude with the absolute best players available in a record free-agent summer to play on the same team? Is he freaking high?

    Stats are a tool, not an end-all, and not nearly the gospel that Hollinger thinks they are. When Rose heaves up a long three as the quarter dwindles down it's because it's the right play. Though it hurts his stats, it does not make him a worse player. When buckets aren't coming easy, you need a "go-to" guy. Rose could take less shots and be more efficient and increase his percentage, but when it's not coming easy you need someone who can step up and put their pride and statistics aside and try to make tough plays to get points and get the wins. The Bulls don't have a great second offensive option. If Rose scored less but more efficiently the Bulls would win less.

    The race is only between Howard and Rose. Kobe or LeBron might be better players, but Howard and Rose are the most valuable to their respective teams, as the Lakers and Heat are loaded with additional talent (and additional All-Stars). Rose has the Bulls far exceeding expectations, unlike any of the other three teams.

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    Excellent, dead on comments.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    When Bulls are losing, Rose is always guilty, when they are winning, it is a Thibs merit or bench or spectators from Chicago in Atlanta...whatever.That's all is funny. D-Rose deserves the MVP title, end of transmition. Greeting from Poland for all Bulls fans.

  • In reply to jaet:

    Welcome Poland. International posts always add a nice flavor to the mix. And well said.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    This whole Dan Lebatard thing cracks me up. With the bombardment of media coverage and internet vids, twitter etc. It just doesn't end. Now that's supposed to mean better communication, but think about it. If you get one or two succint messages or twenty or thirty scatterbrained inputs a day does that give you mroe clarity or more confusion especially in the long run?

    Lebatard for anyone who has watched him on ESPN's PTI(Pardon the Interruption) filling in for Michael Wilbon is simply a dick. He's a complete homer and schill for the Heat as are most of the "journalists" in South Beach covering the team. And now his easily predictable exploitation of an angst at an anassuming 22 year old rocking the boat, and taking the MVP without ever winning a playoff series is so not news. Yet everyone will clamor and ruminate like a bunch of anxious retirees at the old folks home being told their sons and daughters forgot to bring the candy bars with them on their weekely/daily visit.

    This whole thing is ridiculous as is so much of the "news" market in sports. Lebatard is a homer. All the players have said Derrick is the MVP. And Hollinger. It's so funny. Because he works for the mothership/ESPN which sells a product, but yet is then supposed to be an unbiased "news" organization. What a f-ing farce. OK you created PER. Congrats to the boys at MIT for that one. Now how many games have you watched when it comes to winning time, and Derrick just dominates the game. Maybe he's not in the statistical top five in fourth quarter scoring. But I'd like to know about overall second half scoring. And anyone who doesn't "analyze" sports I mean doesn't that sound like going to a therapist now is it really, but actcually watches the GD games. Anyone who plays against Derrick or watches the games knows he has been unbelieveable. I mean did anyone watch that marquee Miami game down in South Beach. I mean other then the fans who never show up for the games until halftime, and then at halftime don't come back until the middle of the third. Hollinger, news flash for ya: watch the f-ing games. Derrick Rose has been amazing. And Lebatard are we really going to empower and legitamize this homeristic schill? All this griping and fawning over his utterances does is give him mroe money. Wake up. D-Rose is too big, too fast, and too strong.. to bother with Lebatard or the rest of these stat/media nerds.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    sorry for the typos(unassuming etc.) I was in a hurry.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    1. Did Hollinger even create the PER? As you said, some MIT geeks probably created it and Hollinger probably blessed it and got the ownership for it/helped a little bit with his input. It is like if you have a kid and that kid is a bully, instead of improving him to fit the current environment ...you keep insisting he is good.
    2. LeBatard and other Miami writers have this new meal ticket with the HEAT. The more they suck up, they have more access to the Heat trio. They are expecting to write a Sam Smith kind of book to cash in and also hoping to make more money through interviews etc and off-course the fame. Nothing wrong with it..But nobody should take them seriously.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Wow.. Thats all i can say. F*ck hollinger and his PER.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    I would never think of LeBatard as an analyst; he's clearly a fan before everything. Even if a fairweather fan, he doesn't actually form conclusions with some sort of rational method. He picks a storyline he likes and jumps on the bandwagon or takes on a role of creating a hype. His work is more narrative-based than investigative.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Totally agree. You said it much better than I did above. I read the article and thought, "Ok, well D Rose is all of these things. So what if he isn't tops in all of them?"

    Instead of that though I decided to rail on against statistical analysis because it bothers me.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You know why there's no way to define the MVP in Rose's favor? Because there's no formal definition of what an MVP is. No specific criteria, statistical or otherwise, has been adopted as the official criteria to use to vote for the MVP. Some voters may want to use the stats that mean the most to them to pick their guy, and I'm fine with that, but in the end the award is subjective. That's why Brian Cook's is the most logical argument to me. If someone used the same logic for D. Howard or LeBron I wouldn't even argue. I'd just agree to disagree with them. You can put all the numbers on a piece of paper and give them to me so I can wipe my ass with them. If I had a vote, I'd vote for D. Rose because I think he's the MVP. I don't need to present evidence because it's not required for the award.

  • In reply to magestew:

    The NBA loves that there's no definition of the award, I'm convinced, because the debate remains completely un-resolvable without that definition. I e-mailed a request for a formal definition some months ago and they replied with a bunch of "voter interpretation" jargon. I'm fine with that; it's their league with their rules to make. But if it's going to be so whimsical, I say, just let the players, coaches, executives, and scouts vote.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As long as Howard is a 3 quarter and 10 minute player, as great as he is, I can't consider him MVP. Start fouling him, and either the Magic offense grinds to a low efficiency halt, or they have to take him out, and they get exposed defensively. How does that make him MVP?

    At least with every other player (including Rose) mentioned, you have to use some form of double-team to negate them, meaning you're exposing another part of your defense. That is value. You can negate Howard with a 1-on-1 tactic; as distasteful as it may be for fans to endure.

    Also, the problem with citing post All-Star game numbers is that it is analysis in a vacuum. Boozer and Noah have been significantly less productive in the second half so far, Bogans is Bogans, and Deng has had some back-and-forth moments. Rose is facing much more trapping and doubling while having to do more. Of course his efficiency numbers are going in the toilet.

    I'm not saying I won't listen to arguments that Rose isn't the MVP. However, if you're going to make the argument against Rose for another player, it better have a lot less holes than the one for Rose.

    Finally, I think there is something to be said for what a player brings to the NBA beyond performance. After the debacle that was 'The Decision', I think the NBA has benefited mightily from Rose. I think it is a big, big reason why Nash won his two awards, and I think it may be the biggest reason why Rose deserves it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If anything Dwight Howard isnt living up to his expectations. He is the biggest,strongest, most athletic bigman in the NBA right now an all he can do is average 23ppg 14reb??? In a NBA where the center position has been the most watered down EVER???? Shaq averaged 23ppg and 14reb in his rookie season as a 19 year old kid going against legit centers with handchecking. Dwight Howard should be averaging Shaq type numbers right now not just 23 an 14.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Rose's Resume- Bulls record +13 from last year with games left to be player, 8-9 new players on this years team, Rookie head coach, improved 3pt shot, improved ppg,asp,reb this year, improve tremendously on the defensive end, hes a closer (often times the Bulls win because of his last minute heroics), Current an past NBA players are endorsing him (LBJ,MJ,Chandler,Bosh,Juwon Howard,Wade,Kidd,Nash etc...), outplayed all the elite pg's this year, Arguable the best PG in todays game when the PG position is considered the most talented, improved FT attempts and percentage, Bulls are 1st in a top heavy eastern conference with Boozer an Noah misses 50+ games this year, Keith Bogans has been our starting SG all year long, 38 year old Kurt Thomas started many games for us,Rose has played excellent on National TV where everyone can watch, Bulls have the 2nd best home record in the game with only 5 losses, Bulls have one of the best records against the best teams in the NBA right now including beating Maimi 3 times, Rose has maybe 1-2 maybe 0 technicals this year (Dwight Howard has 16-17 an might be getting a 1 game suspension soon)....probably leaving some stuff out...but that right there is already better then Dwights resume.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Being the best defensive player in the game to the point where his team is the 3rd-best D, despite being the only strong defender is a better resume. Don't get me wrong, if Rose had Dwight's body, maybe he could do more, but there's an argument that Dwight's big-ness carries more short- and long-term value -- on top of his defensive I.Q. and 62% TS% in high offensive volume -- than anyone else in the NBA.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Doesn't Orlando rely on their 3-point shooting about as much as they do Howard? In essence, they can't win without either.

  • In reply to borg:

    RE: "Doesn't Orlando rely on their 3-point shooting about as much as they do Howard?"

    No.

    RE: "In essence, they can't win without either."

    Yes. What's your point? That's just called winning.

    On the flipside, the Bulls "rely on" their defense more than Rose, not "about as much."

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    The Magic take and make the most 3's per game. Looking at the most made 3's per game by team, you have to go down 11 more spots to find the next team in line that scores fewer points per game than Orlando. I'd say they are beyond reliant on the 3, easily more than any team in the league.

    Not sure you can brush off the importance of that part of the game to them.

    *

    "On the flipside, the Bulls "rely on" their defense more than Rose, not "about as much." -

    If defense guarantees winning, why are the Bucks 3rd in points allowed just behind the Bulls yet 31-45?

  • In reply to borg:

    Magic rely on defense for 50% of the game and less than 30% of their FGAs are 3s. The entirity of the former is dependent on Dwight and their 3s depend on Dwight pulling the defense in. Dwight's usage rate on offense is about 27.5%, so you could say that 70-77.5% of their game is dependent on Dwight when he's on the floor. That's my explanded point. Sorry for being trite earlier.

    The Bucks example isn't a very good one. Their ORtg is 101.5 and their DRtg is 102.6 for a -1.1 net. The Bulls' ORtg with CJ on the floor is 102 and the team's overall DRtg is 100.3 for a theoretical +1.7. Every team with at least a -0.3 SRS is at least .500. Consider that the 2nd place team in the Central is under .500, yes, the Bulls would be a 40-45-win top four seed without Rose. A bad one, but still a top four seed. Consider that they were a 41-win team last year. Don't underrate Thibs and the depth.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    I don't underrate Thibs or the bench, but I also don't see how it's a given the Bulls are a 40-45 win team minus Rose. That would make CJ Watson the 35+ minute starting PG. He's not really a PG at all in the first place. And I don't see Watson making all the plays down the stretch that Rose has this year. He's done as well as can be expected, but that's an enormous drop off.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    So because Dwight is a better defender that puts him over Rose and all the things he has done this year...give me a break. Dwight has been in this league for 7 years an he still doesnt have a go to post move. He has a little hook and sometimes he turns an faces. But neither are automatic. He is the most athletic bigman the NBA probably has ever seen an all he can do is 23ppg 13reb???? In fact, he was only averaging 18ppg last year!!!! So now he is back to where he should be an people want to give him the MVP. Give me a break. Shaq did what Dwight is doing his rookie year as a 19 year old kid against some of the best centers ever to play the game. Dwight isnt living up to his expectations if anything. My votes would go like this....Rose,Dwight,Bron,Kobe,Dirk

  • In reply to borg:

    Isnt Howard for Mvp a straw man because his team is in 4th place (in the east, 8th best record overall) and they pretty much dont give the award to dudes not on top 3 teams? So now you have spurs/la/chi to pick from. Spurs dont have anyone near rose's per and LA has 2 guys, but Kobe is only a little better and he's already won it.

    Maybe he's already reponded to this argument and I missed it. I respect hollinger a lot but isnt all he doing is setting up his own straw men so he can knock them down to prove he's right?

  • In reply to McBad:

    Your points are very valid and why I can accept the argument being isolated to Kobe, LeBron, and Rose with a standard of being on a team with a .700+ W-L%. Remember that Hollinger's argument for Howard is that he's the "most irreplaceable player," while being open to other approaches to interpreting the award -- best player on best team, best overall player, doing most with least.

    I wrote in February, compiling a couple of studies into the NBA MVP history: "The difference between a top-two seed and a three-seed just got real huge if you're rooting for Rose to win the MVP."

    http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/load-o-bull/2011/02/the-extraordinary-case-of-derrick-rose-winning-mvp.html

    The last 20 have been in the top 4 in win% (Spurs, Bulls, Lakers, Heat), 19 or those 20 were top three (SAS, CHI, LAL, as you noted), 17 of the 20 were top two (SAS, CHI, with LAL one game back). But Hollinger isn't saying the history of the award *ought* to dictate the definition, just as the NBA refuses to define the award. When the Bulls were the 4th-5th winning-est team (and Rose was playing better), Rose proponents for MVP were saying the same thing and that was incredibly valid.

    The only thing I've seen from Hollinger relating to greatly isolating the argument to players on winning-est teams was shortly entertaining the argument that the MVP ought to be the best player on the best team -- not saying that's his approach, but were one to take that approach. And he implied that LAL is the best team and therefore, that rationale says Kobe is the MVP. I took that as him not accepting that rationale as an overwhelming factor.

    All of that said, it is an individual award and team wins are a difficult factor to deny. More important, Kobe and Rose are producing at remarkably similar levels. ( http://bkref.com/tiny/rQeit ) And those similarities have been aligned since around mid-January.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    yeah, I have little doubt rose still would have won even if bulls had finished a bit lower. And then it would be all "story" for picking him over LBj or Kobe. but thats how it goes when you have humans voting. I'd feel a little sorry for dwight bc he hasn't won before and is having a deserving year. not so much for the guys who have won it. I'm only human.

  • In reply to borg:

    sorry. howard for mvp is moot, not a staw man.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Apparently he never watches any games he can just look at statistics and say who should be MVP. He along with several others are stuck on Bron and Kobe like sheit to your shoe when you step in it. I dont even read anymore of his articles simply because its all about Rose not being the MVP when even players that he sucks on say that Rose is

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    When he said Kobe is the "best player on the best team," he was taking the perspective of one of the subjective arguments for what the MVP means along with the almost consensus pick of the Lakers as being perceived as the "best team."

  • In reply to walrus:

    I don't see this argument the same as Hollinger. My biggest issue if the Howard argument. I realize Howard is the only elite center in the league, but he has his liabilities. He has an awful ft% and is a liability at the end of the game as the Hack-a-Dwight can be employed. And as far as the defensive argument, he's a defensive center. If he was the best defensive guard on a bad defensive team, the team would be shit defensively. The fact that he is able to be the last line of defense makes a difference.

    The other arguments about Kobe and Lebron seem ridiculous to me. I feel like there is an extreme bias when it comes to point guards as MVPs. Only 6 times since 1955 has a pg won MVP. And it was Magic, Cousy, and Nash. Doesn't seem right to me. Lebron has arguably the second best player in the league, Kobe has another all star, Odom, who could have been an all star this year, and Bynum, who many expect to be an all star. I would put Durant over any of those other guys. Is Rose the MVP? I think the case is stronger than people realize, but since Kobe only has 1, and probably won't win another, he's in the mix. But the year Kobe won his MVP, CP3 had a great year taking a lowly Hornets team into a top tier record and should have been the MVP, but got screwed... Looks like history may be doomed to repeat itself...

  • In reply to walrus:

    John Hollinger needs some help..he is just acting immature. He is trying to rationalize his argument and screaming from his pulpit. He might be right but it is obvious that he has an agenda against Rose and it's consuming him.
    I am a Bulls fan but honestly I don't care if Rose wins MVP or not. For me, the championship/team game is more emotionally/mentally satisfying. After the summer of 2010 FA, I just don't trust ESPN and it is probably closer to TMZ than being closer to FOX. I will give that he is probably smarter than me in basketball, watches more basketball, talks to smart NBA guys and all that. But, if he doesn't even put Rose in top 3 this year...this man is smoking something.
    The MVP should have an impact on winning considerably and not just winning against lousy teams like Minnesota, Toronto like Orlando and Miami have done mostly. Howard is not even a professional for heaven's sake. If we consider NBA to be a business(corporate like), Howard is lucky to have a job and he has one because of Stern. With all his whining and fouling(unprofessional behavior), Howard should have been suspended for a lot more games. Kobe just decided to show after the all-star game but failed to show up for the Miami game.
    LeBron for all his douche-bagness is the closest to Rose in terms of MVP competition..(professionalism, impact on their team, consistency, leading by example, playing both ends of the floor, having multiple skills).

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