LeBron James Believes He Deserved First Unanimous MVP, Blames Boston Writer for Snub

LeBron James reflects on missed accolades in 2013 season.

by Faizan Chaudhary
LeBron James Believes He Deserved First Unanimous MVP, Blames Boston Writer for Snub
© Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In 2013, LeBron James experienced what many would deem a banner year in his illustrious NBA career. The Miami Heat clinched their second consecutive NBA championship, enhancing LeBron's personal tally to two rings. He also secured back-to-back MVP and Finals MVP honors, confirming his dominance in the league.

However, according to LeBron himself, that year could have ascended to even greater heights. The NBA star recently revisited that significant season, expressing a longstanding contention that he was unjustly deprived of becoming the league's first unanimous MVP—an accolade he believes he earned that year.

His contention isn't without foundation; the vote that year was nearly unanimous except for one dissenting voice from a Boston writer, which LeBron subtly hinted at in a recent interview. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe was the sole journalist who opted not to cast his MVP vote for James, instead choosing Carmelo Anthony for the award.

Washburn defended his choice, arguing that the MVP award shouldn't necessarily reflect the best player per se, but rather the most valuable to their team. He believed Anthony's contributions to the Knicks that season were more pivotal than LeBron's were to the Heat.

"I had no idea I would be the only voter to leave LeBron out of first," Washburn explained, emphasizing his independent assessment of the MVP race.

LeBron's DPOY Disappointment

LeBron also brought to light another sore point from 2013: the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award.

He felt that Marc Gasol's win of the DPOY trophy was another accolade that should have been his, marking a season of near misses in terms of individual accolades. These grievances shed light on a broader issue within NBA award votings, such as the All-Defensive team selections, which were determined by coaches, contrasting with the media-voted DPOY award.

This discrepancy led to a change in the voting process, allowing the media panel to vote for both the DPOY and the All-Defensive Teams, aiming for greater consistency in awards determination. LeBron's reflections stir up not just memories of his incredible achievements but also the complexities and controversies of sports journalism and award voting.

As the NBA has evolved, so too has the scrutiny of its award processes, underscoring the ongoing dialogue between players and the press in shaping the narrative of the game.

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