NBA

Twitter-sized MVP whodunit solved!

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Did you hear the one about the sportswriter who didn't give LeBron James a first-place MVP vote?

lebron

HE GOT GAME(S)

LeBron's fourth MVP season was incredible. His best performances.

Well, it's actually a true story — and social media quickly turned it into a bona fide whodunit? on Sunday — with varying degrees of success.

Ultimately, the case was solved when Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe admitted in a story posted Monday morning that he didn't give LeBron his first-place vote, and explained his reasoning. But in order to understand the full intrigue of the mystery, let's turn back the clock:

A little background: Earlier in the weekend word leaked that the Miami Heat superstar would be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for a fourth time. (Big shock, right?) But then word came out that The King may actually be a unanimous MVP, receiving all of the first-place votes. That would be a first in the NBA. Then the word finally became official on Sunday: LeBron James, 2013 NBA MVP, receiving 120 of 121 first-place votes. Immediately the focus turned from the actual MVP to the person who voted for somebody other than LeBron (that other first-place vote went to the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony). Even King James was pondering who it could be.

Thirteen seasons earlier, the Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal also received all but one first-place vote, Fred Hickman, then of CNN, casting his vote for Allen Iverson (who finished seventh in the voting that season).

It did not take long for pundits to release statements and take to the airwaves the day after that vote was announced, asking Hickman, 'WTF, man?' But that is soooo last decade. It's 2013, and Twitter rules the day. So on Sunday, the witch hunt for the non-LeBron voter was on. And of course, it didn't take long for some wise guys to have fun, and others to get a healthy heaping of egg on their face.

And nobody had more fun with the story, and the socialsphere, than Miami sportswriter Dan Le Batard, who, after word reportedly leaked around 6 p.m. ET that he had given his first-place vote to Carmelo Anthony, launched a firestorm with three simple words.

Within seconds, the Twitter haters were bombarding Le Batard with some rather entertaining material, which he then retweeted to the world, including these gems. (Note: Many of the replies are NSFW; for a full view of Le Batard's tweets, click here.)

Even some big-time writers (and FOXSports.com employees) were left SMH.

Soon, everybody wanted a piece of Le Batard.

Then, some of those NBA insiders with some actual knowledge of the process started calling Le Batard's bluff.

And before long, the jig was up. But not before Le Batard managed to get one over on the Web's ultimate watchdog, Deadspin.

And, like the rest of us media after we blow it, Deadspin had to fess up that it, too, had been duped.

And don't think that Le Batard (and others) didn't take notice.

So Le Batard's social experiment worked (for him, at least). But at the time, the question remained: Who didn't vote for LeBron? Clearly, the world NEEDS an answer.

And if this guy's right, Le Batard may not have a vote but La La does?

And hey, it's Twitter. You knew we were eventually headed below the belt, er, headband.

And the dictionary.

And the trophy case.

Here's to hoping the Knicks and Heat face off in the Eastern Conference finals.

Tagged: Heat, Knicks, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony

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