Like a brave student, the Portland Trailblazers courageously stood in front of the Golden State Warriors’ tank – and got mowed down for their efforts. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers lived up to their name and swept the Atlanta Hawks like they were a curling stone. On the other hand, the nominal online betting on basketball favorites the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat have struggled with alleged underdogs the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors, and are both on the verge of elimination. Of course, the latter are cases in which the winners would actually be the losers, having to go on to face the basketball-playing machines that are the Warriors and the Cavs.
Regardless of which teams filled the other slots in the Conference Semifinals brackets, it is almost a given that the betting on basketball favorites Golden State and Cleveland will be the ones competing for the NBA Championship. Accordingly, LeBron James has already begun to up the trash-talking game ante. According to James, the meaning of the word ‘valuable’ in Most Valuable Player – which Stephen Curry just won for the second year in a row and unanimously this time, which means the votes were cast in secret, right? – is open to interpretation and up for debate. For example, if you want to rhyme valuable with table.
And he is not the only one who feels this way. Sports media personality Colin Cowherd opined that Curry should be “Best Player of the Year” while James should be MVP. Or he could legally change his name to Mario Van Peebles. The argument revives the old debate of statistics vs. value (online betting odds TBD). This is a tricky one; if you’re betting on basketball you know stats are tangible numbers. Conversely, value – while an indefinable quality – is undeniable; and the Blazers can vouch for Curry’s late-game value. Since the dawn of time people have wondered how Michael Jordan won only five MVP awards, while rivals like Charles Barkley or Karl Malone took the honor during Jordan’s prime. I would suggest that Jordan’s true “value” is best reflected in his six championship rings versus none for Chuck and the Mailman (note to self: great name for a sitcom).
Tracy McGrady added his two cents, which came down to the notion that Curry only won the award because today’s NBA has become a Brady Bunch version of itself. Barkley agreed with McGrady – while constantly looking over his shoulder for Charles Oakley and Willie D – saying that the NBA is at its worst as a result of the practice of drafting kids after only one year of college. Both make good points, but as far as Curry and James are concerned, we might only have to wait for the NBA Finals to settle the matter of who is the best – or the most valuable – of the two.