Thursday, June 23, 2005

nba mvp

as we await game 7 of the nba finals tonight, i figured this was my last chance to post this.

steve nash won this year's mvp because a bunch of writers all gave him votes which count for a certain number of points. his accumulated points made him the mvp. certain sports journalists are given the privelege of being official mvp voters. those journalists get to rank their mvps 1 - 5. a certain journalist, jimmy smith from the times-picayune, gave pj brown a 5th place vote (1 point). it was a ridiculous vote. have a look at pj's stats from this year.

usually these votes are anonymous, but there was enough press on this pj brown vote that jimmy smith decided to come clean. he did so in this article.

i chose to write him and said the following:


i read your article defending yourself on your pj brown vote (please excuse my lack of capital letters). i think your article (after taking multiple pot shots at charles barkley and dan patrick among others) is saying that you wanted to vote pj brown 5th because you like him and think he did something with his season worth noticing. you made people notice by exploiting the privelege you have of voting on the mvp race. don't you think your "but, i mean, look, he's such a nice guy" vote is the beginning of a slippery slope? following that slope, detroit writers are soon going to be giving votes to guys like darko milicic that ride the bench all year and then get a vote because they think the guy did a great job coming off the bench in the pistons' 30-point blowouts. and before you know it, there have been 34 points taken away from someone who could have won the whole thing thanks to writers like you making personal statements via your mvp vote. your defense of your vote is ridiculous. his career stat line simply proves that he's a mediocre player that hasn't gotten hurt and has longevity. just stick to the "i voted for him because i like him" defense. i think your vote was irresponsible and i agree with mike wilbon of the washington post who says you should have your voting privileges revoked.

Luke Johnson from Tucson, Arizona

while writing this email, i knew that jimmy would take any chance he could to de-bunk my credibility by pointing out writing errors or incorrect facts so i spent some time on this email.

predictably, jimmy tried to debunk me. here is jimmy's reply:

Thanks for your note. You obviously didn't read the column very closely. Mike Wilbon never said I should have voting privileges revoked. Writers should not vote because of personal likes or dislikes. I did not. That practice went out in the 1940s, specifically after 1941, when baseball writers didn't vote Ted Williams as the MVP. jimmy smith

translation: i know more about sports than you so i'm right. and you can't read.

i responded in turn and never heard back from the guy. my response to jimmy:


i'm amused. i didn't say that your article said that mike wilbon said that you should have your voting priveleges revoked. i said that i agree with mike wilbon who said you should have your voting privileges revoked. he said this on pti on espn. and that's too bad about ted williams.


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