Pennebaker wrote: arasu wrote:
They started splitting it by conference in 2001-02, and since then LeBron has 40 and no one else has more than 15 (Kobe).
This has to be the biggest award/honors discrepancy in NBA history.
It is impressive, but it makes sense too. They give it to players on winning teams. LeBron has found a way to play for winning teams longer than anyone else in his era. If the award was per conference and included April since the beginning, Jordan might have as much as 40 of them too, and in far fewer years. Some of of the guys with 6+ would likely have around 20, like Magic, Bird, Shaq, Hakeem, and Malone.
LeBron didn't find a way to play for winning teams. He was the winning team. He won a huge chunk of his on the Cavs from 2005 to 2010.
Jordan may have doubled his 16 to 32 but I don't think he could've reached 40. 1) He didn't play long enough (and took years off) and 2) he didn't win enough early in his career. I think 40 for him would've been a mathematical impossibility.
LeBron, btw, probably would have 25-30 even if they didn't split them by conference today. In most of the months where he won the award for the East - especially from 2008 to 2013 - he probably would've won it for the entire league. That's 18 right there in 5 seasons.
About Bird or Magic having 20... I don't think so. The careers of both Bird and Magic were cut short by injury and health. By age 31 Bird was more or less done - bad back. Magic also retired at 31. They probably would've been like Kobe and ended up in the teens.
40 is the upper limit, but not impossible. LeBron won some of those for a team barely over .500 in a weak conference. Jordan easily could have won several more on a team barely below .500 in a monster conference. The only reason I think he would have fallen short is that the voters got voter fatigue more easily than in other eras in Jordan's winning prime years.
LeBron had solid players next to him most of his career, and elite players for much of it. There is a tendency to diminish his teammates. Even this season, people pretend Bradley and Green aren't two-way players who could be important pieces on any winning team. I'll admit though, pre-Miami LeBron had a lot of weight on his shoulders, but pre-All-Star-Pippen Jordan carried a similar weight.
Magic was the beneficiary of the only October Player of the Month, so having no April award that year doesn't count, but otherwise, the extra month makes a big difference. And the double award increases the chances for more ties as well. Considering Magic was an elite player in each of his first 11 seasons, and he went to the Finals in 8 of those, while finishing with a top 2 or 3 team record in 10 of them, it's reasonable to assume he could have picked up quite a few more of those awards, maybe as much as two more per healthy season. There's your 20+. Bird was a beast for most of that time as well. Considering those two hogged up most of the Finals appearances and regular season top finishes, it would only be natural for them to get far more monthly hardware, if it was available.