COLUMNS

Something new

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

I don't know about everyone else, but the same old, same old gets a little tiring at times. I think it's time to change things up a bit.

For the past decade, it's been all about LeBron James--and deservingly so.

He's one of the greatest talents the league has ever seen and right now, he's the best player on the planet. He has it all--the size, the speed, the athleticism, the unselfishness and he is, without question, the most versatile player in the league.

We all knew that prior to last season but when he finally took his game to that next level and got that elusive first ring, his stock's growth became astronomical.

And the momentum he gathered from that championship run last year only carried over to this season as he has led the Heat to the league's best record and at one point, a 27-game winning streak that was the second-longest in NBA history.

He finished the regular season averaging 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game--thoroughly impressive numbers to say the least.

James' magnificent season has everyone clamoring to hand him yet another NBA MVP. Out of 30 analysts and writers from ESPN, all 30 gave the nod to LeBron. But to quote Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend."

There is no doubt that LeBron is deserving of the award, but let's mix things up a bit and get rid of that same old, same old. He already has three MVPs. He won one just last season and has snagged the honor three times in the past four years.

Let's give somebody else a chance to earn top honors for once. I'm going to go out on a limb and say LeBron will have a legitimate chance to win the trophy for the next seven years--maybe even more.

I vote we get some new blood in there this season.

So, if not LeBron, I say there are two other options: Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.

Durant has not wavered--even after his team's 4-1 loss in the Finals last summer. And even losing a big piece of the puzzle in James Harden, he was able to lead the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference.

He finished second in the league in scoring as he put up 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game.

Like LeBron, he is certainly deserving of taking home the trophy, but I'm going to go against the grain and go dramatically against the consensus. If I had a vote, I'd go with Carmelo as my MVP.

Out of the three, he has done the most with less. LeBron has Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to always fall back on. Whenever Durant has an off-game, he always has Russell Westbrook there to pick up the slack. Carmelo doesn't have that luxary.

He's on a team surrounded by role players. Yes, they're great pieces but at the end of the day, they're not superstars by any stretch of the imagination.

And despite being the only pure superstar on the team, Carmelo willed the Knicks to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, 54 wins and at one time, they ran off 13 straight victories--the third-longest streak in franchise history.

What made his season so special is how he let his game evolve. For so many years, he was known as a selfish player that had to have the ball at all times, never made his teammates better and never played any defense. That's not who we saw leading the Knicks this year.

With him demanding so much attention, players around him like Raymond Felton emerged. J.R. Smith averaged a career-high 18 points while Tyson Chandler set his new peek at 10.

Carmelo increased his defensive intensity and even though he consistently showed his ability to get teammates involved, he still could take games over when he had to do so.

He won the league scoring title as he put up 29 points per game while grabbing seven boards and dishing out three assists per contest.

If you take him off of that roster, the Knicks go from the No. 2 seed in the east to missing the playoffs completely.

That's why, for one year, I say we think a little outside the box and give the award to a first-timer.

However, I think we all know where this is heading. We'll be seeing LeBron hoist that MVP Trophy for a fourth time. And as much as I would like to see change at the top, I couldn't really complain if that's the way it went.