LeBron James: Realistic breakdown of why he will lose the MVP award

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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LeBron James
(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Narratives are basically media politics pushing certain players in certain conversations!

Take a second to think how many times the word “Narrative”  has been used this season on this website. Then take another to think how many times the word is used PERIOD in sports shows in radio and television.

That’s the fuel that drives the world we live in. The back and forth between Marcellus Wiley and Jason Whitlock was video proof. Now let’s look at the definition of the word.


"A way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values"

Now let’s use a few NBA narratives to illustrate the point.

  • Before 2011, when LeBron James won his first title in Miami, he was known to crumble in the clutch. If anyone wanted to double down on the point, his supposed “fear” of the Boston Celtics was a good place to start. That Celtics team led by Kevin Garnett supposedly ran him to Miami in the first place.
  • Speaking of Garnett. Before 2008, there was a narrative that Kevin Garnett copped out in big games. Never mind that the Timberwolves gave him no help outside of the year Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell came in to boost Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals. 
  • Michael Jordan can’t win a title for two reasons. One, he doesn’t trust his teammates and two, a scoring leader can’t lead his team to a title. 
  • Didn’t Magic Johnson have two NBA titles before the narrative was that he can’t come up big in the Finals after the Lakers lost to Boston in 1984?

One conversation on ESPN by Jalen Rose explains why this is dangerous to NBA fans that want the facts instead of a story.

To bash using narratives in sports not the message here. It is a huge part of sports in general. All sports writing uses it as a blueprint.

The site has a post-game series called “Lake Show Life Lessons” that provides that same structure before the analysis begins. If not, the pieces would be broken down into boring 300-word paragraphs that contain something like this.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers played a NBA team. 
  • The Lakers played good. So good that they put the round ball in the orange hoop more times than the other team.
  • LeBron James and Anthony Davis was the reason.
  • A possible excuse for the other team.

Sorry, Vince McMahon changed the game for everybody. Like it or not, the NBA is also sports entertainment. Fans need heroes and villains with a dash of comebacks and triumphs. So does the NBA.

They sell players overcoming all odds, reaching deep within themselves to win at the end. The Chicago Bulls have been eating off of Michael Jordan’s “Flu Game” for years.

Here’s where things go wrong.

Painting James as an aging superstar about to be pushed into the shadows due to age and injury, only to come back and play great is a not a reason to win his fifth MVP award. It’s a feel-good story used as a narrative. Example?

Now let’s break down the players in the regular season head to head matchups, shall we?