All posts by kevinakumiah

Whether you Like it or Not: Kevin Durant will be your 2018 NBA MVP

Everyone knows the name Kevin Durant by now. He is the starting small forward for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, an eight-time NBA all-star, and a four-time NBA scoring champion. He won the 2013-2014 regular season MVP and the 2016-2017 NBA Finals MVP on the way to an NBA championship. And at the end of the 2017-2018 NBA season, he will be a two-time NBA regular season MVP.


If Kevin Durant did not suffer a frightening knee sprain in February that caused him to miss 19 games, he would have given Russell Westbrook a serious run for the 2017 MVP. Here are the five reasons why Kevin Durant will complete the job in 2018:

LeBron James Fatigue

The primary argument many sports analysts give for why LeBron James does not win MVP every year even though he is clearly the best player in the world, is that voters are tired of giving him the award every year. At one point, that was true. From 2008-2013, LeBron James won the MVP award four out of five years, and the only year in which he lost the award (2010-2011 to PG Derrick Rose), was his first year with the Miami Heat in which he was adjusting to playing with new teammates.

But that was years ago. The voters have not given LeBron James the MVP award since 2013. It’s been four years since LeBron received an MVP award, so voters experiencing fatigue of giving LeBron the award every year is no longer a valid argument.

The kind of fatigue that will prevent LeBron from winning the 2018 MVP is the kind that affects 32-year-old basketball players who play nearly 100 games each year by virtue of advancing to seven straight NBA finals. In the past few years with Cleveland, LeBron has taken resting his body more seriously and frequently misses games during the regular season. That will continue in 2018 as LeBron is getting older and there’s nothing more left for him to accomplish in the regular season. And voters certainly count the number of games a player misses during MVP voting.


Even if PG Isaiah Thomas’ hip acts up and LeBron is forced to carry the Cavaliers, the East has become so weak that the Cavs will easily still make the playoffs. And that’s all LeBron cares about at this point. The past two years, LeBron has shown his fatigue or even disdain for the MVP award. In 2016 when Curry won the award, LeBron congratulated Curry, but commented “most valuable” is different from “best” player. This year, LeBron was a little agitated at finishing fourth in MVP voting and commented that he does not care about who the media votes as the MVP because, “this league knows what I bring to the table.” LeBron knows that he’s the real MVP every single year and at this point, he’s done caring about who the voters choose.

For all of these reasons, LeBron James will not win the 2018 MVP.

Russell Westbrook will Struggle for an Encore

The main reason why it is so hard to win back to back MVP awards is that a player has to top what they did the last year to still impress voters. No one will have it harder in recent memory than Russell Westbrook because of just one number: 42. That is the number of triple doubles that Russell Westbrook amassed last season, beating Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old record. That accomplishment on its own warrants an MVP and Westbrook certainly earned his award last season. But this year, voters will still be counting Westbrook’s triple doubles. And if he reaches anything short of 42, voters will easily be able to declare that Westbrook didn’t perform as well as his MVP season deny him a repeat.


Westbrook is likely to struggle to repeat his stats from last season because of the addition of Paul George. George will make the Thunder a much better team, but he’ll take away touches and points from Westbrook, and the voters will take away his MVP award.

Chris Paul Arrives in Houston

In similar fashion, PG Chris Paul has arrived in Houston and he is bound to take away touches and points away from one of Kevin Durant’s main competitors, James Harden. Harden averaged 29.1 points a game last season and even scarier is that he has increased his average assists per game and points per game in each of the past three seasons. This streak will come to an end in 2018 due to the addition of PG Chris Paul taking away just enough of Harden’s touches and points. Harden will definitely still be a top MVP contender in 2018 because he’s just too good of a scorer to be fully slowed down. But sadly, Kevin Durant will keep James Harden waiting yet another year to receive his first NBA MVP award.


Everyone will see Kevin Durant play . . . . Multiple Times

The 2017-2018 NBA schedule was unveiled on Monday and guess which team has the most nationally televised games? You guessed correctly, the Golden State Warriors. Golden State will be playing on national TV 31 times this year, the most of any NBA team, and will play in premiere matchups against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Durant will be dominating on our televisions over and over again, and he will create a national story about his performance in 2018, giving the voters plenty of reasons to vote for Durant.

Best Player on the Best Team

Lastly, Kevin Durant will win the 2018 MVP because he will be the best player on the best team. Throughout the playoffs this spring and especially in the NBA finals, Durant proved that he’s the best player on the Golden State Warriors. He was the best player on the Warriors last season before his knee injury and his finals MVP trophy showed why he is Golden State’s top option.


The rest of the NBA can do nothing to stop Durant. To start, there are few basketball players in the world who can even hope to defend a player with the size, speed and shooting range of Kevin Durant. And if you double him? Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will make you pay with a wide open three-pointer.

Even though Durant accomplished his goal of winning an NBA championship, he clearly still has a chip on his shoulder. He has not at all acted content with his one championship; the man still has something to prove. Despite being a first-time NBA champion, Durant handled June’s accomplishments with a surprising amount of calm. His emotions never got too high after the NBA title win, and that shows you that he expected to win, and expects to win more. Durant has also had multiple twitter arguments with fans this summer and has taken offense to negative stories about him. He is clearly still motivated and out to prove his haters wrong.


So whether you love KD, respect him after his title or still hate his guts, you will have to watch him raise the NBA MVP trophy in 2018. Hey, at least you will get to see him cry again as he gives another all-time great MVP speech.

The Edmonton Oilers are About to Make their Return to NHL Greatness

The Edmonton Oilers are recognized by most hockey fans as one of the greatest franchises in NHL history. How did a team from Edmonton, Canada, the NHL’s third smallest market, come to dominate hockey? The only possible answer is through winning championships and having one of the greatest – if not the greatest – players in NHL history. The Edmonton Oilers created one of the NHL’s most dominant dynasties of all time when they won five stanley cups from 1984 to 1990. The Oilers have won nine division championships in their history along with seven conference championships and seven appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals. That type of dominance in any professional sports league will never be forgotten, and it’s the reason that Edmonton maintains their place in NHL history.


The other reason is, of course, Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time. In his nine seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Gretzky achieved nine all-star appearances, eight NHL MVP awards, led the NHL in points seven times and won two Stanley Cup playoff MVP awards. He also set three incredible NHL records that may never be broken: 92 goals in a single season, 163 assists in a single season and 215 points in a single regular season. Gretzky’s greatness was the main reason that the Edmonton Oilers were able to dominate the NHL.

Despite their past success, as you’ve noticed, most of the accomplishments that make the Edmonton Oilers one of the NHL’s great historical franchises happened a long time ago. After the Oilers’ domination in the 1980s, they were able to maintain a solid playoff presence, making the playoffs five straight seasons from 1997-2001. Their most recent deep playoff run occurred in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.


After 2006 though, Edmonton experienced quite a downturn. The Oilers became one of the worst teams in the NHL and an annual laughingstock. The Oilers missed the playoffs for ten straight season from 2007 to 2016, never amassing more than 88 points in any of those seasons. Even worse is that the Oilers made no improvements despite having a top-ten draft pick for nine of those seasons in which they missed the playoffs. Most shockingly, Edmonton received the first overall draft selection for an unprecedented three straight seasons and still made no improvements.

That is, until now. The Edmonton Oilers finally ended their ten-year playoff drought this past spring and made an admirable run into game 7 of the second round despite all of their youth and inexperience. The Edmonton Oilers are about to make their return to greatness using the same formula that worked so well in the 1980’s: winning championships and having one of the greatest players in NHL history.


In terms of potentially winning championships, the Oilers have a balanced and highly talented roster that will be among the best teams in the NHL for years to come. An offense led by Connor McDavid, Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gives Edmonton a unique blend of speed, scoring ability and toughness. Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse form a tall, mobile and physically imposing defense. Finally, goalie Cam Talbot is quickly turning into one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. The Oilers’ best players are also very young, meaning this team will only get better.

The second part of the formula that will return the Edmonton Oilers’ to greatness is Connor McDavid. I know that it’s way too early to proclaim Connor McDavid as one of the greatest NHL players of all time, but just look at what he’s already accomplished. In just his second NHL season (after missing 37 games in his rookie season), McDavid tallied an NHL-leading 100 points, earning an all-star appearance, and an MVP selection, as voted by both the players and in official NHL MVP voting. And at only 20 years old, McDavid hasn’t even approached his full potential. His hockey smarts, passing ability and electrifying speed will make McDavid must-watch television and the face of hockey for years to come.


The rest of the NHL should be extremely worried, because the Edmonton Oilers are coming, and they are ready to return to greatness.