Arguably the NBA fans favorite award (in the Regular Season) is the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Not only for the fans, but also for the sponsors, media and brands.
What does sell in this American League? The players. The show. The entertainment.
NBA is a business and the players are the product, we should not forget that.
Besides, and more often than not the choice for the former award is not considered unanimous from fans, sports analysists and executives point-of-view.
As a matter of fact, among the individuals in charge to pick the MVP, there was only one time in history that mentioned selection was unique: Stephen Curry on the 2015-2016 NBA Season.
Nonetheless, the predicts for the award start before each season. The expectations are high. NBA is rather a league of more individual talent and skill-set than team-tactical structured game.
As so, there is no harm on admitting that the MVP is a desirable award for any NBA player.
Additionally, and taking into consideration the NBA’s 2016-2017 season, fans witnessed a rare achievement: a NBA Player managed to average a triple-double (T.D) for an entire regular season. Ladies and Gentlemen here is your 2016-2017 NBA Most Valuable Player.
“Mr. Triple Double” – Russell Westbrook – not only conquered the latter title but also entered in the history books for doing so for most games – 42. The previous record was 41 by Oscar Robertson in an unique regular season of its own (1961-1962). The former season will be mentioned later in the article.
Moreover, it is relevant to display some interesting numbers regarding the competitors for the 2016-2017 players for the title:
|Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder||81||34.6||31.6||10.7||10.4|
|James Harden||Huston Rockets||81||36.4||29.1||8.1||11.2|
|Kawhi Leonard||San Antonio Spurs||74||33.4||25.5||5.8||3.5|
|LeBron James||Cleveland Cavaliers||74||37.8||26.4||8.6||8.7|
As mentioned previously, there was not an unanimous vote for the 2016-2017 NBA’s Regular Season MVP. Despite the critics of efficiency field goal percentages putting Harden in the top of the ladder and other arguments for the other candidates, Westbrook was the “chosen one”.
Thus, was this the best individual performances displayed in NBA history?
You will give the answer, I will showcase another remarkable season to the table.
1961-1962 NBA Season.
NBA expanded from 79 to 80 Games.
Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors on the 2nd March 1962.
One player averaged a triple double for a season, for the first time.
The last four candidates for the MVP award were:
|Wilt Chamberlain||Philadelphia Warriors||80||48.5||50.4||25.7||2.4|
|Bill Russell||Boston Celtics||76||45.2||18.9||23.6||4.5|
|Oscar Robertson||Cincinnati Royals||79||44.3||30.8||12.5||11.4|
|Elgin Baylor||Los Angeles Lakers||44||44.4||38.3||18.6||4.6|
Which player, taking only these analyses available, would you vote for the 1961-1962 NBA’s Most Valuable Player? Your pick would not be bizarre. These are remarkable numbers displayed by these four individuals.
NBA MVP: Bill Russell. NBA Champion? Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics over Los Angeles Lakers in seven NBA Finals games.
Hence, it should be a consensus matter that the NBA Most Valuable Player would be included in the All-NBA First Team, right? Wrong.
All three candidates mentioned above apart from Russell were in the All-NBA First Team adding to it Bob Pettit and Jerry West.
Russell was picked for the All-NBA Second team alongside: Richie Guerin (New York Knicks), Jack Twyman (Cincinnati Royals) and two fellow Celtics teammates Tom Heinsohn and Bob Cousy.
A season to remember, players to highlight.
In conclusion, individual performances thrive in the NBA for quite a long time.
Fans loved it and still do. The brand endorsements, media attraction and fan engagement is absorbed by these statistics.
Do we see obsessive media coverage on the consistent 50-plus-regular-season-wins San Antonio Spurs? No. Unfortunately that doesn’t attract fans as it should.
However, Lavar Ball, #TrustTheProcess and Triple-Doubles do.
The league adjusts into the clients preferences.