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What they're saying about the NBA MVP race

by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 28, 2014
Advertisement's Marc Stein: “My MVP vote always goes to the guy having the best SEASON. The MVP, to me, was never intended to be a Best Player In The Game referendum. It's a reward, on this scorecard, for the standout combination of individual brilliance and team success over the 82 games in question. And by those measures, how can anyone but Kevin Durant be the MVP as we approach the 50-game mark? KD's surreal January numbers are straight out of a video game ... and he has the Thunder winning at a rate that they'd gladly take if Russ Westbrook were healthy. So I'm fairly certain that LeBron, if he had a vote and had to cast it today, would cast it for KD and admit that he has some catching up to do over the next 30-something games. The race is on.”

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix: “I look at the usual stuff — statistics, advanced and otherwise, in concert with informal conversations with coaches and front office execs about who deserves the award — and I'm a big believer that team success should carry a lot of weight. That Kevin Durant has been able to keep Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference despite the extended absence of Russell Westbrook (and with another newcomer in Jeremy Lamb in the regular rotation) has had a significant impact on my hypothetical, midseason vote. The difficulty sometimes lies in separating the best player for the player having the best, most valuable season. To me, LeBron James continues to be the best player, a dominant force on both sides of the ball. But what Durant has done to elevate his team amid trying circumstances in an unforgiving conference makes him the guy, for now, having the best season.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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