We asked NBA writers from ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, as well as NBA analysts from ESPN, to provide their choices for NBA Most Valuable Player, ranked from 1 to 5.
Here is Henry Abbott's ballot:
Rank Player Comment LeBron James
I hate to be hyperbolic, but sometimes superlatives are accurate: When we look back at this season decades from now, "best player in the league" will be far too timid in describing the reign King James has started. He's a mighty candidate to be the best player ever. If James doesn't win in a landslide, voters must be drug tested.
As irrelevant as the Heat have been, I don't know if there's an NBA player besides James who could have made that roster better. He's always had a sick combination of skills that work even at rocket-launcher speed. Now they work at both ends of the court.
Points per game don't do it for me. But all-out nonstop effort at both ends of the court, profound improvement in almost every facet of the game, and all that winning that's awesome.
If Howard was scoring 40 every other night, he'd be near the top of every list. Instead, he beasts around in the paint, anchors the best defense (again) and contributes as much as anyone besides James. But all scoring-obsessed critics want is more post moves. So he won't win this award, but he may well win a championship.
More skilled than anyone and hits game winners on "SportsCenter" every fourth night, which is a testament to his iron will -- he's still on this list, despite leading the league in dents and dings.
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