Sunday's news should have been glorious for LeBron James. Not only did he win the MVP award, but also he became the youngest player to rack up a fourth most-valuable honor. Instead, everyone focused on what LeBron didn't do: namely, nab the first unanimous MVP. The numbers released yesterday showed 120 votes for LeBron and one single ballot for Carmelo Anthony. WHO THE HELL VOTED FOR MELO?
In minutes, internet sleuths -- piecing together a trail of clues in Poirot-like fashion -- decided it was the Miami Herald's Dan Le Batard. Twitter hate flowed like liquid magma. Problem was, it wasn't Le Batard. It was this clown.
Boston Globe columnist Gary Washburn outed himself this morning as the only dissenting voice to LeBron's dominance, writing that Melo deserved the vote for his importance to the Knicks. We'll get back to why he's wrong on a level usually reserved for the Flat Earth Society.
But first, let's all applaud Le Batard, who fell into a classic internet hate vortex yesterday and fed off it like an expert.
It's not clear who started the Le Batard-voted-against LeBron narrative, but at some point everyone decided his Sunday column was a subtle hint that he'd been the lone dissenter.
Le Batard's point in the piece, called "No Royal Proclamation Necessary for Miami Heat's LeBron James," is how smart The Decision was in retrospect. But it's possible to look at the headline, pull out a few paragraphs, and then pretend Le Batard is really saying LeBron doesn't deserve an MVP nod because of all the other great players on the Heat.
That's precisely what the internet decided he meant. Deadspin jumped on the bandwagon last night, accusing him of stirring the pot to get more listeners for his radio show.
And Twitter? Twitter did its Twitter thing where hundreds of people flung hate at Le Batard, who gleefully retweeted it all without refuting anyone:
Like any good online shit-disturber, Le Batard threw some gas on the fire to keep the hate coming:
Finally, around 9:30 last night, Deadspin admitted it was a bit hasty in its judgment, writing that it "screwed up and jumped the gun."
This morning, Washburn posted his column, which begins like this:
When I placed my NBA MVP vote a few weeks ago, I knew I would be in the minority. I knew LeBron James was the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth award because he unquestionably is the best player in the game.
When the voting was announced Sunday afternoon, I was flabbergasted to learn I was the lone voter among 121 to not give LeBron a first-place vote.
In other words, Washburn is that most odious of characters: the postseason awards troll, who flat-out admits LeBron is "unquestionably the best player in the game" yet refuses to hand him an MVP, which, you know, goes to the best player in the game.
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So in summary: Bad job, internet; well played, Le Batard; and screw you, Washburn.