At (long) long last, we have the final edition of the 2008-09 Blogger MVP Rankings.
There should be no surprise as to who reigns supreme. He who does so earned 90% of all first-place votes. He went to wire-to-wire in the Blogger Rankings this season, never submitting to the defending champ or the comeback kid.
But, we'll get to him. First, the others.
No. 10: Yao Ming
Yao was a popular No. 9 choice on many ballots, but was left off enough to finish 10th. Bright Side of the Sun voted Yao sixth, saying that "his health alone deserves a vote." The Dream Shake called Yao a "bad ass."
No. 9: Tim Duncan
Big Fundamental split votes with Tony Parker, who finished No. 12. The Blowtorch justifies consideration by saying, "If being a doper person means not telling people how dope you are, consider Tim Duncan very dope."
No. 8: Paul Pierce
Pierce and Kevin Garnett were the only Celtics to garner votes. Whither Starbury?! Daily Thunder called Pierce "the basketball Jonathan Papelbon." Reds Army notes his importance to a great team: "Everyone is talking about KG, but Paul Pierce has time and time again stepped up on both ends of the floor this year. And someone from a 62-win team widely considered as the 3rd best team in the league has to be on this list, right?
No. 7: Brandon Roy
Roy knocked on the top tier's door this season; only two players in the top 10 are younger. Piston Powered wonders if he can " take the next step or will he remain on the second tier?" A Stern Warning notes that "if you're considering the ability to drive a team's record beyond what otherwise should be attainable, no player other than King James compares with Roy this season."
No. 6: Chauncey Billups
Turning around the Nuggets franchise earned Billups buckets of blogger accolades. Carmelo Anthony earned only a few votes this season. With Malice says, "In a franchise where Carmelo Anthony wears the franchise tag, Billups is The Man." You Got Dunked On reminds us that "Denver might not even make the playoffs without Billups if Iverson was still on the team."
No. 5: Dwight Howard
As the familiar refrain goes, Howard picked the wrong year to shoot for the MVP. Any other season, he'd be a serious contender. Dino Nation says that "Superman has been the Clark Kent of this race." Reminder: Dwight is 23 years old.
No. 4: Chris Paul
Last year's Blogger MVP slipped to No. 4 this season. Truth About It says that Paul has been "keeping the NOLA relevant despite injuries and canceled trades." Pippen Ain't Easy wonders, "Is there anyone more fun to watch in the league?" (Answer: yes. Donte Greene.)
No. 3: Kobe Bryant
It's safe to say the traditional basketball media holds Kobe in higher regard than the basketblogosphere. Some talking heads are still claiming Kobe deserves the MVP over the other fellow this year ... while bloggers vote Kobe No. 3.
No. 2: Dwyane Wade
Wade, Kobe and Howard each earned one first-place vote. More than half of the voters placed Wade No. 2 ... though one dropped him as low as No. 8. A truly divisive candidate. Rufus On Fire has a frightening though: "What if Wade's step forward this year is for real and fairly permanent? Wade's season looks better than any of LeBron's previous five."
And finally ... <drum roll> ....
No. 1: LeBron James
As noted at the top, LeBron ran the table this year. No, really.
Wade oscillated between No. 2 and No. 6 in the Blogger MVP Rankings this season. Kobe moved between No. 2 and No. 4 before settling at No. 3. Paul and Howard played tag. Duncan made an (invisible) appearance, as well.
But the rock, LeBron, stayed atop the scrum all along. A wire-to-wire MVP race -- when's the last time that happened?
Rufus On Fire: "I've played two complete seasons of NBA 2K8 and two seasons of 2K9. Only one of my players, once, had an individual season as valuable as James's real-life 2008-09, and that was only because I got Rudy Gay to score 44 per game, but at the cost of no assists, no rebounds, and lesser defense."
The Painted Area: "It's truly remarkable - in a year of superior performances by Wade, Paul, Bryant and Howard - how easily LeBron James topped the MVP field. If LBJ can cap it with a championship, it will be the best season ever by a small forward - better than any season Larry Bird ever had."
Waiting For Next Year: "We’re blessed to be covering the NBA in an era when you can have 4 or 5 guys who would be legit MVP candidates in any other year, but not this year. This year, there’s only one real MVP candidate, and it’s the guy who took a team that everyone has ripped on for the past couple years, and turned them into one of the NBA’s small handful of truly elite teams."
The Blowtorch: "In a perfect world, LeBron would get to make terrible superhero movies, release a rap album, and design shoes people actually wore. I call this magical place 'The Late 90s.'"
Third Quarter Collapse: "I'm casting my only vote for LeBron James. It is no longer a 'discussion,' nor has it been for the past several weeks. The only 'discussion' Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard, belong in is the one about who got most screwed by James' otherworldly season."
Thanks to all the voters, we had a record turn-out (I think) this time! All voters' home sites listed below. (Note: if you voted and you don't see your URL below, shoot me a note.)
True Hoop, Bright Side of the Sun, Piston Powered, The Dream Shake, You Got Dunked On, Rufus On Fire, Truth About It, Bullets Forever, Brew Hoop, Valley of the Suns, Daily Thunder, NBA Mate, The Painted Area, Pippen Ain't Easy, Indy Cornrows, At the Hive, With Malice, Dino Nation, Waiting For Next Year, The Blowtorch, Blazer's Edge, Red's Army, SLC Dunk, Peninsula is Mightier, Canis Hoopus, Blue Blitz, Third Quarter Collapse, Silver Screen and Roll, Denver Stiffs, A Stern Warning, Hoops Addict, TWolves Blog, Raptors HQ, Orlando Magic Daily, Hoops Head North.