Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James: Who Is More Deserving of the MVP Award?

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks drives against Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics during Game two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 23, 2013 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The way in which the 2012-2013 NBA MVP is chosen will greatly depend on how the panel of sports writers and broadcasters truly define the award.

The award is of course defined as the “Most Valuable Player,” but, the most valuable player in what sense?

Is the award meant to go to the best all-around player of the 2012-2013 season, thus labeling him as the best or “most valuable player” in the league, or is it meant to go to the player that is most valuable to his team?

This is not by any means a new question and has been a topic debated throughout most professional sports leagues for quite some time.

If the award is meant to go to the player that had the best season, then LeBron James should win the award hands down.

James nearly averaged a triple double (26.8 PPG, 8 RPG and 7.3 APG) while shooting 57 percent from the field. There is also a sense that these are the types of numbers James wanted as opposed to the best possible numbers he could have produced.

Had James not been on a team filled with superstars, including the likes of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, he would have likely taken far more shots during the course of the season and could have realistically averaged 35 points per game.  

Even so, in terms of the best player in the league during the 2012-2013 season, James was head and shoulders above the rest and probably will be for quite some time.

But, the next question becomes, how valuable was James to Miami compared to how valuable a player such as Carmelo Anthony was to the New York Knicks?

Miami has a stacked team, and although there is no way they would have gone 66-16 without James, it’s highly likely that they would have made the playoffs as one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference even without their star forward.  

The Knicks, on the other hand, were the oldest team in NBA history yet somehow managed to go 54-28 and finish second in the Eastern Conference. Had it not been for Carmelo Anthony and his 28.7 points per game, it's not unreasonable to think that the Knicks wouldn’t have even made the playoffs this season.

So who is more deserving of the 2012-2013 NBA MVP award?

That once again all depends upon how the voting panel defines the award.

If they decide to identify the best player in the league during the past season, it will go to James in a landslide.

But, if they decide to identify the player that was most valuable to his individual team, it would be very difficult to argue against the award going to Anthony.

There is a clear cut favorite for each direction; the only question that remains is which direction the voting panel will ultimately decide to take.