So heading into the final week of the season, I was beginning to face the fact that regardless of how ridiculous Dwyane Wade's season has been, that he wasn't going to win the MVP this season for one simple reason: LeBron James.
LeBron has put up comparable stats to Wade's, but LeBron's team is going to finish with over 60 wins this season, and the NBA MVP has traditionally been associated with the best player on one of the best teams. This season, it's likely LeBron, and I was getting ready to accept that fact, despite what Wade has done all year long for a team that would be getting another lottery pick if it weren't for his efforts.
But then Wade had to go and do what he did to the Knicks on Sunday night, and I couldn't quite concede the award to James... yet.
Wade set a new career-high with 55 points against the Knicks, one shy of the franchise record held by Glen Rice.
Wade had 50 through three quarters before taking it easy in the fourth.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game that he took Wade out with 55 because he already owns most of the records in the franchise's record book, and thought that this one should be left for Rice. For now, that is.
Before being taken out, Knick coach Mike D'Antoni called Wade over to the Knicks bench where he told Wade that it wasn't fair how good he is. D'Antoni should be one to know about how great players are, after all, Kobe did go for 61 against his team this season, then LeBron for 52 a couple days later. He also coached all three of those players as an assistant for Team USA.
So if D'Antoni is willing to tell Wade how good he is, during a game, no less, and admit that Wade is better than he's ever been (I'm looking at you Wade of the 2006 NBA Finals) then I'm not willing to give up on Wade's MVP candidacy, and neither is the Heat franchise.
The Heat sent out promotional packets to MVP voters this week. Inside the packets are an "MV3" t-shirt, a paperweight and a DVD of Wade's season highlights (which don't even include Sunday night's show).
After all, the award is all about campaigning and politicking. However, before the votes get cast, I think voters should ask themselves a couple of questions: Where would the Cavs be without James? Then ask themselves: Where would the Heat be without their "MV3."
Once those questions are answered, I think you have your answer for this season's most valuable player.