LeBron James' Disregard for Stats Proves He's NBA's MVP

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIJanuary 18, 2013

January 17, 2013;  Los Angeles, CA, USA;     Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) dunks in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to say that a player with averages—as of Jan. 17—of 26.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game doesn't care about statistics. But in LeBron James' case it's absolutely true.

It's not that he's incapable of putting up complete stats because he certainly is. 

For LeBron, it's the fact that he doesn't care which stat line he has to inflate to help the Miami Heat win games.

LeBron would be okay accounting for 10 assists and 10 steals in a game if it helped his team win. He'd also be okay with 20 assists and zero points if it led to an NBA title.

The only stat line that might not sit well well with the Chosen One is one without assists or steals, because facilitation and defensive tenacity are the two main facets of his game.

LeBron's willingness to throw his stat lines, specifically scoring-wise, to the wayside is what makes him such a special player and a rare talent.

It's not that other players like Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant aren't elite players in the league though. Those players, based on their play, are focused on helping their team win games through piling on the points.

Is that bad? No, it certainly isn't.

But it points to just how rare it is to find a player whose focus is on finding the highest percentage scoring opportunity at all times. And that is exactly what LeBron James does night in and night out.

Sure, doing so means passing up a game-winning shot when he's double-teamed. But more often than not, when LeBron facilitates to his teammates he's doing so because it's the move that gives his team the highest percentage of maximizing their offensive possession.

That rare trait that exists within LeBron's game is what makes him, hands down, the most valuable player in the league.

LeBron's disregard for padding his own statistics for the sake of dominating a box score is what makes him special. It also happens to be at the core of why fans love to hate on him.

The MVP award is giving to the NBA's most valuable player, not the NBA's most valuable scorer, and that's why the award is LeBron's to lose.

He plays the game in a more complete way than anyone else currently in the league. We undervalue LeBron's importance to the game because there aren't other players competing at such a holistic level.

Being an MVP isn't about scoring titles or the amount of shots you can jack up. It's not about belittling your teammates in the locker room and demanding that they get you the ball.

It's about being a team player. A player who knows how to win in ways that include not scoring the ball.

LeBron is the definition of a complete player, and he's forming the mold for this generation's MVP award.