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Article:What does MVP mean?

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We have been in the middle of a great MVP debate in the NBA for months now, and everyone has an opinion. Your choice for the award depends on how you define MVP, though.

I admit, this is something I have a hard time with because my definition changes. I can't decide which is the best definition, which I suppose is what makes MVP such a lively debate.

Some simply define the MVP as the best player on the best team.

Some look for the most dominant player.

Some say the MVP is the best player in the league based on stats.

Some say the MVP is the player whose team has the worst record without him.

Some penalize a player for being on a bad team.

Some penalize a player for being on a good team.

Some people think 'valuable' is a general term.

Others think it means 'valuable' specifically to a player's team.

Some say you just know it when you see it.

Bill Simmons, always doing things his own way, has three questions that he asks:

  1. Ten years from now, who will be the first player from this season that pops into my head?
  2. In a giant pickup game with every NBA player waiting to play and two fans forced to pick sides with their lives depending on the outcome of the game, who would be the first player picked based on the way everyone played that season?
  3. If you replaced every MVP candidate with a decent player at his position for the entire season, what would be the effect on their teams' records?

Again, I'm not here to debate who the MVP is, but rather how we define the term. And I'm not looking for consensus, either. I just want to hear the reasoning behind your MVP definition.

Don't forget the other sports as well. Just because NBA MVP talk is dominating at the moment, don't limit yourself to that. Does your MVP definition change for different sports—for example, the Heisman Trophy in college football?

What does MVP mean to you?

Also published at 110 Percent.


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