Neck and neck: Just how close was Finals MVP voting?
So the Cleveland Cavaliers aren't NBA champions, and, despite averaging nearly a triple-double for the series, LeBron James isn’t the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
James, playing without injured stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, finished Tuesday night’s Game 6 one assist shy of what would have been a record third triple-double in these Finals. Yet despite turning in perhaps the greatest statistical series in Finals history, James walks away with neither the Larry O’Brien Trophy nor the Bill Russell Award.
Instead, Warriors guard Andre Iguodala, a man who did not start a game all season until midway through the Finals, who was charged with guarding James much of the series and thus was the one being torched by The King, and who hit less than 36 percent of his free throws ended up with both.
"For us, it's really fitting that the award went to Andre," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told the media after the game, alluding to Iguodala sacrficing his starting job before the season and how that factored into the team's title.
The debate over James’ MVP-worthiness began as soon as Cleveland dropped Game 4, and is likely to rage for many years.
But just how close was the voting? NBA Media released the voting totals shortly after announcing the winner. There were 11 voters. Here are the voters and their selections:
Here are the voting results for Finals MVP. Iggy with 7 votes; LeBron with 4. pic.twitter.com/XsgYAqsiAR— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 17, 2015
That’s Iguodala 7, James 4.
Now, here is how James’ and Iguodala’s stats stack up:
And for those unable to see the tweet with the voting breakdown, here it is:
Sam Amick, USA Today
Ken Berger, CBSSports.com
Hubie Brown, ESPN Radio
Jason Lloyd, Akron Beacon Journal
Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle
Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports
Marc Stein, ESPN.com
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com
Howard Beck, Bleacher Report
Zach Lowe, Grantland
Jeff Van Gundy, ABC TV