With more than a hint of sarcasm, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy gave his opinion on Sunday about the MVP race this season and beyond.
“You know how the vote’s going to go. LeBron (James) will win the MVP every year until he retires,” Van Gundy said.
Van Gundy was likely playing to the Cleveland media. But there’s part of him that feels that the MVP — decided by the media — will be James’ award to lose for a long time.
“LeBron has to go into the year and basically lose the MVP. You guys have decided he’s the MVP,” Van Gundy said.
“I don’t even know if Michael Jordan was as hyped as he is, and then [James] goes out and exceeds it.”
Van Gundy says that fans and media “view players primarily as scorers … and view most everything else as secondary,” meaning they overlook Van Gundy’s guy, Dwight Howard, the favorite to repeat as defensive player of the year.
“[Defense] doesn’t translate into MVP voting. People look at it as it’s not as important … I don’t understand that.”
Van Gundy said that Howard would have to score more to be a serious candidate, but “we’re a team that, offensively, is not going to help him win an MVP award. We’re pretty balanced.”