Barstool: Should LeBron have won the MVP?

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This week, Dan (0-1 Overall) takes on David (0-1 NBA, 0-1 overall) in

Should LeBron have won the 2015 NBA Finals MVP?

LeBron MVPDan: The Golden State Warriors just won the NBA Championship for the first time since 1975 against a LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers team. Andre Iguodala was the man awarded with Finals MVP. But was that the right choice? Were there other candidates that deserved to receive that honor? Yes, LeBron James deserved that honor even though he was on the losing team.

When someone looks at the Finals MVP, they automatically assume that it has to go to a member of the winning team; but that’s not what should’ve happened. The Cavaliers were riddled by injury losing out on Kevin Love against Boston, Kyrie Irving was out and they had Iman Shumpert and JR Smith leading the way, who were back-ups before coming to Cleveland.

LeBron James was damn near playing by himself and had some help, but he had to create everything that happened on the court. He averaged just under 36 points per game (35.83), averaged 13 rebounds and 8.33 assists per game. There were major disparities from when James was on the court to when he was off, when he created the shots, to when he didn’t. He deserves the Finals MVP.

Andre vs LeBronDavid: The Finals MVP is not always voted to the player who was the best player on the floor, witness the years James Worthy won the MVP due to him stepping up the half court offense when the fast break was shut down by the monster Pistons defense, dropping 28 on Rodman and Salley then a triple double in game 7 in 36 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists- was Worthy the best player in the series? No, but he made the difference.

Same with Tony Parker with the Spurs, was he better than Duncan? No, but he did slap around Larry Hughes and forced LeBron to try and take him onball in the final two games in the Spurs Sweep.
Same with Andre Iguodala, the Warriors were down 1-2 when Iguodala was put back into the starting lineup, and 3-0 after he was inserted.Iggy didn’t exactly shut LeBron down- and who could without a shovel, but he did make him work on both ends, and wore him out after carrying the team the entire game.

LeBronDan: I never talked about best player, I’m talking about most valuable player with an emphasis on valuable.

If you look at what Iggy did, they mention how he defended LeBron and how he was the carrier of the Warriors. How can the carrier of the Warriors, the most valuable player of the Finals, not even start every game in the series? How can the most valuable player of the Finals allow their opponent who they’re defending to average jus 1.7 assists/game shy of a triple-double?

Take Iguodala off the Warriors. What happens to their team? Do they still win? It would definitely be close, but without him he doesn’t give up hope for Golden State. They still could have won. What won the series wasn’t Iguodala, it was the gameplan of going smaller.

-17 score diff while Big
+60 while small

41.9 FG% while big
44.4% while small

27.5% 3-pt % while big
41% while small

What happens to Cleveland without LeBron? They’ll get swept and lose by 20 pts each game.

Points created by James – 346
Points not created by James – 215

FG% created by James – 43.2%
FG% not created by James – 31.3%

3-pt% created by James – 37.3%
3-pt% not created by James – 16.9%

He was a HUGE factor. He was the most VALUABLE player of the Finals.

Andre IgudolaDavid: So valuable does not equal best.


SO how valuable does it make you when you are rolling out a .33% winning percentage? You counter that the Cavs wouldn’t have won any games without LeBron, my response to that would be . . .and? How many games did the Jazz win against MJ? How many games did the Lakers win vs the Pistons in that epic collapse?

Did that matter? Do the rings shine less or the Banner hanging from the rafters any shorter?

The whole point is to WIN.

Moving Iggy to the starting lineup and moving Bogut to the bench is the number one reason the Warriors are champions right now. Iggy slowed down LeBron, made him work harder, wore him out and allowed his team to WIN. LeBron might have a higher usage rate, might have almost averaged a triple double, might have thrown up the best numbers in several generations.

But he LOST. So the Cavs start the offseason a few days earlier without him. The MVP is decided on these 6 games alone, and LeBron goes home a loser once again. A feeling the “best player in the game” is starting to get used to.

To the Winners go the spoils-

and the MVP.

lebronDan: So you keep thinking the most valuable is the best. That’s not true. The most valuable is of great worth. Was Iggy of great worth? Him stepping up in his role could make him that. But, was LeBron of great worth? Yes, he was of tremendous worth.

You talk about winning. That doesn’t make a player valuable either. What make a player valuable is his worth to the team which you can clearly see from LeBron as they played without Anderson Varajao, without 2 All-Stars in Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. LeBron took the Cavaliers to WIN 2 games and made the other games close.

Look at this, if Iguodala isn’t there, what do the Warriors do? They’ll still win.
If Lebron isn’t there? Games aren’t close, the Cavs don’t have a chance.

The Cavs played with only 7 men each game. The Warriors were playing 8-10 men per game, giving everybody plenty rest. LeBron had no rest, he averaged 45.8 minutes per game. The most minutes Iggy played? 42 in game 5. LeBron was the 1st, 2nd and 3rd focus for Golden State’s defense. Iggy was the 3rd focus behind Thompson and Curry.

Without LeBron James, this series wouldn’t have been a series. It wouldn’t have registered the highest ratings in all the Finals. LeBron made that. He deserves Finals MVP whether you hate him or love him.

Andre Iguodala MVPDavid: I don’t hate any player – well, maybe Kobe.

So you do realize that your MVP went 0-6 in the fourth quarter of the close out game, right? I have a hard time giving my MVP to someone when the game, series and title is on line, scored as many points as I did.

Do the Cavs win if Iggy isn’t on the floor, actually, they might have, keep in mind with Iggy on the bench the Cavs were halfway there already. Once Iggy was moved to the starting lineup, the series was over. That one move decided the title. We stopped hearing about the Australian coachroach, we stopped hearing about how badly the Warriors were looking, we stopped hearing about how Curry needed to step it up.

Iggy comes in, goes 3-0. Please drive home safely, MVP.

Dan won the Barstool 8-7

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  1. Great debate but an MVP doesn’t choke in the 4th quarter like LeBron did.

    And Iggy went 3-0 in a starting role and had a huge impact since he was inserted into the starting lineup.

  2. David had me when he said he hates Kobe. LeBron did everything to win MVP..except win. That is first and foremost. It proves his the best player in the world. Not the MVP.

  3. Winning being the goal and your team loses, what exactly were your efforts, regardless of how impressive, really worth? LeBron was amazing but what at the end of the day, what was the “value” of his play? This wouldn’t even be a discussion in any other industry other than sports or acting. Two occupations that love to reward themselves for doing their freakin job. Imagine a sales team that included a superstar salesperson surrounded with average associates working on a huge international account. The superstar guy works his ass off and pours his heart and soul into the project but loses the account to another firm with a more well rounded sales team. Despite his talent and hard work and the fact that individually he is by far the best salesman, if you don’t get the account you don’t get the commission nor salesperson of the year award. Despite effort, you are “valuable” to your employer unless you succeed regardless of where the fault may lie. THIS is the real world that the rest of us live in. Accept maybe those that grew up in a world where everybody gets a gold star.

  4. But Bob, let me ask you this: Do you discount the superstar salesperson’s effort because he was missing two “All-Star” salespersons along with a very reliable salesperson who contributes a lot of the nitty gritty work?

    Iggy got the praise even though he was surrounded by a solid shooters all over the line-up. Draymond Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Bogut. He had a lot of help to say the least.

    Golden State was fully healthy. They had all their starters. Every player was able to get the rest they needed to stay as close to 100% each game as they could.

    Cleveland suffered injury after injury. Their point guard – gone. PF – gone. C – gone. They lost a big 3-point shooter with Love injured. They lost their PG, the player that gets it going down the court in Kyrie Irving. Mozgev had to take over Varajao’s job down low instead of having them 2 working together. LeBron had to become the PG. He had to take over Love’s contributions from 3. He had to become the team with no rest. There’s 48 minutes in an NBA game that doesn’t go into overtime. LeBron averaged 45 minutes/game in the series. That’s ridiculous.

    He did all he could, but he had no help. You can’t knock LeBron or take away a deserving award from him because his team lost. Put a fully healthy Kyrie Irving, Love and Varajao on that roster and Cleveland takes the series. Put the team how it is and take away LeBron and Cleveland isn’t coming within shouting in a megaphone distance. They get swept. They get blown out.

    This series resulted in the most sales online ever. The NBA store online set a record for the highest sales EVER recorded. The Finals recorded record viewership for ABC. Does that happen without LeBron playing? Cleveland won 2 games because of LeBron. They made it a series with a record amount of people who watched it. Give the MVP to LeBron. He deserves it.

  5. I don’t discount the superstars salesman’s work but if he didn’t get the contract, despite whatever legitimate excuses he may have had. The goal was not met. How is anyone “most valuable” when they lose? From where I am sitting it looks like the “everybody gets a gold star” mentality. I have coached a great many years and while I might call a player that had a great series or game to the side and recognize his effort, or even acknowledge him in front of his teammates, I never allow the team to forget that our goal is achieving as a team. If we lose, we all lose including me. There is no gold star for that. Of course winning is and should be defined by what the team’s realistic goals were. Lebron’steam goal was a championship.

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