The 2013-2014 NBA season is about to tip off and here in the preseason predictions and prognostications are being passed around left and right like a bounce pass thru traffic. One of the most popular water-cooler debates is always who will be the Most Valuable Player at the end of the season.
LeBron James is the two-time reigning MVP, which has also led to his Miami Heat team winning the last two NBA Finals. James has also won four of the last five MVP Awards.
Since the year 2000, James is one of three active players to have won back-to-back MVP Awards. The others are Tim Duncan and Steve Nash. If the 2013-2014 campaign results in his third-straight award, he would become just the fourth player in history to achieve the feat joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird.
In addition, the milestones would continue from there. If LeBron is crowned again this season it would be his fifth MVP Award of his career. That mark has only been reached by three other players, all in the Hall of Fame: Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has the record of six Most Valuable Player Awards.
The stretch that LeBron James is on is remarkable and has to be compared to legends of the game. While he is one of the most polarizing players in sports, not just basketball, the achievements that have been reached cannot be ignored.
Another strong candidate for MVP this season is the man that has been runner-up the last two seasons. Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant has unofficially vowed this offseason that he is tired of being second place. His team was runner-up in the Finals two seasons ago, and he has been runner-up himself twice to James in MVP voting. Durant will have an even stronger candidacy as he will have to carry the load for the Thunder early on with Russell Westbrook starting the season still recovering from injury.
But the prediction on this ballot for 2013-2014 MVP is for the only other player to win the award in the last five seasons. The award will go to Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who may also win comeback player of the year as well.
Rose was drafted by the Bulls in 2008, and he is entering his sixth year with the team, but only playing in his fifth. Derrick won the Most Valuable Player Award in 2011, but did not play a single minute last season, missing the entire year recovering from a knee injury.
Toward the end of the regular season and into the playoffs last year, Rose’s health became a minor controversy as he was cleared to play but never stepped onto the floor to compete. A full season removed, Rose is now fully cleared physically and perhaps more importantly mentally to lace up the sneakers once again. He has made his long awaited return this preseason and looks as advertised.
Rose is cutting to the basket, leaping, and running the floor like his MVP form of 2011. He arguably is the missing piece for a Bulls squad trying to reach the Finals and represent the Eastern Conference, unseating the Miami Heat. Derrick has the look of somebody who has a lot to prove this season and that could carry himself and the Bulls to great things.
No Bull: Derrick Rose could revive the running of the Bulls on the way to his second MVP.
Top Five Finalists for MVP:
1. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
2. LeBron James – Miami Heat
3. Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
5. Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers