As a bloc, NBA players are as passive-aggressive as any group in contemporary American life. The league’s players communicate among themselves and with the public using complex verbal and physical language that often can be better understood by what is left unsaid than what has been spoken aloud.
A good example happened today, when somebody asked Lebron James about Stephen Curry winning the award for Most Valuable Player. James cited Curry’s extraordinarily good statistics and his team’s NBA-record 73 regular-season wins in support of Curry, but added a half thought about what we really mean when we say “valuable,” you know?
“Look at Steph’s numbers,” he said. “He averaged 30, he led the league in steals, he was 90-50-40 (shooting percentages from the free-throw line, field and 3-pointers), and they won 73 (games). So, I don’t, do you have any debate over that, really, when it comes to that award? But when you talk about most `valuable’ then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure.”
Now what in holy hell are we supposed to take from that?
Probably most sports fans have engaged in this debate about “value” at some point or another. It’s the same boring conversation every time — what if you put Lebron on the Warriors and Steph on the Cavs? — the worst case scenario being somebody pulls out a dictionary and all the girls leave your party.
James might have a point in a vacuum, but the facts are they have to give somebody the MVP award, and if the best player on the best team also has the best stats, that guy is going to get it most of the time.
So there can only be one conclusion: Lebron James is a pedant.