Unsung MVP: Donovan Mitchell

By: Michael Tolliver Jr (Opinionated MJ)

How is it that Nikola Jokic is being considered for MVP, I personally have Steph in there, LeBron is always in there, and Embiid is my #1 for MVP, but many are simply NOT including Donovan Mitchell for MVP? 15 wins over the last 16 games? Spida can’t get any consideration right now although he is apart of the best team in the league? Are we rewriting the narative for MVP right now? Are we considering his teammates? If that’s the case, we need to eliminate LeBron from contention as well. Why won’t you plug Mitchell into this discussion?

Shaq should’ve been enough to put all eyes on Donovan. He has delivered. He’s been seamless alongside Conley this season. Yes, he has Rudy Gobert, and I’ve seen a list that features Rudy for MVP but not Donovan. Steph Curry isn’t even on that list. Validity killed, right? Ha. What is the requirement now? It seems like everyone is all over the place. The typical voters will likely still choose LeBron since AD is playing more like Kevin Love with half a Minny & Cavs jersey on nowadays. It happens when you’re playing next to one of the biggest stars in the game. Unless you’re on the Brooklyn Nets.

He should at least be at #2. If we’re going on “best player, best team” as of right now, Utah is 19-5, Philly is 17-7. Why are we not considering Donovan Mitchell for MVP? I need answers. Are we still stuck on following LeBron’s age, years, and mileage? Are we suprised with a focused Embiid? Are we too in love with the numbers Jokic is putting up? I’ll ask a real question. Are we stuck on assists being the pathway to an MVP? Why pass more when you can score more, that’s my take. If we’re enamored with ball movement, then LaMelo Ball and Steph Curry should be the frontrunners. Yes LAMELO BALL. Let’s not ignore the fact the everyone has totally cemented the mentality that Giannis can’t get another until he can make 3’s and make the finals, although he also doesn’t have a flat out second star like DONOVAN MITCHELL!

Eventually these narratives will turn into harsh truths and won’t be able to be denied. Kind of like Giannis latest MVP award. If you fully remove Donovan from this team, are they #1 in the league right now? Are they looking like a team that can give any team an issue in the West? Did we ignore what happened in the bubble for him? If so, then the entire bubble doesn’t matter.

I think it’s on another level. No one believes the Jazz can take a series from Denver, or any of the LA teams. Is that what is fueling the idea that Donovan doesn’t fit the mold? Too early? Too young? That shouldn’t creep into your mind when you think of him. He’s arrived and he will only continue to get better. I like Jamal Murray, but Donovan has been more consistent this season. It’s time to give him his respect. I could play the seconds a drinking game with this. Would you rather Gobert or PG? Gobert or AD? Gobert or CJ? Gobert or Kyrie or Harden? I personally can’t put a player with another superstar at the forefront of the MVP race. I have many mottos. The one that applies here is that “great players make great players greater.”

Donovan is doing this for his whole team. Take notice before it’s too late and give him his proper respect. #1 in the league.

Why Doesn’t Mainstream NBA Media Shine a Light On All the Other Stars?

By: Michael Tolliver Jr (Opinionated MJ)

Dear NBA Media, this is for you.

We know that Steph Curry is the greatest shooter ever. We know that KD is one of the best scorers ever. We know that LeBron James is in the goat conversation in the minds of many. Why dont we know anything about the other stars around the league? Maybe I’m overexaggerating. We hear about Kawhi, Jokic, Embiid a bit, Harden, Kyrie… I just dont hear enough about the other good players in the league to my liking.

We know about the Boston duo of Tatum & Brown. I haven’t seen any articles or Twitter posts or polls about Tatum. I haven’t heard anyone trying to insert Brown into the MVP conversation. He’s consistently ascended every year and has yet to really be given his proper due. Currently, I have Joel Embiid as my front-runner for MVP. He’s been slighted if you ask me. Still sitting behind LeBron because of year whatever and add in the playoff games, it’s however many more season. He’s been labeled as the second best center behind Jokic since the Joker passes more. They both are on the same level if you ask me. I’ll ignore standings since it isn’t game 65 and say that Embiid and Jokic are my top 2 for MVP regardless of record. If you remove both from their teams roster, which team is more likely to succeed in the playoffs? Neither.

I haven’t heard anything about what Jerami Grant has been doing for the Pistons. Team losing more than winning so his output doesn’t matter to you? Detroit has been very competitive. That’s step 1. I haven’t heard about the fact that my dark horse Orlando Magic, year in and year out, still make the playoffs. The Key? Nikola Vucevic. NOBODY talks about him at all. Only Aaron Gordon. He’s cool too. The team just can’t stay healthy. While I’m speaking about the Magic, I seen more articles about Markelle Fultz being injured than I seen about him actually ascending. Overcoming his jumpshot woes or whatever the media made me adopt within my perception. I always remained a fan. Get well soon.

I haven’t heard much about Donovan Mitchell until Shaq made it his business to try to rile him up to turn into Kobe. Everybody reacted in a soft manner. Nobody is built for the harsh criticism that makes you breakthrough. The things that give you even more to play for. Everybody are “yes men”. I was raised different and I loved every second of it. I expect a supernova now. Ja Morant, Jamal Murray, Jimmy Butler. I’m all over the place. Media was all over them in the bubble. Now it’s back to the usual? Mainstream media seems to only bash the players when they don’t live up to “their” expectations. See Pascal Siakam. See Shai Gilgeous Alexander. Even Zion Williamson. Fans turned on him cause they thought the NBA was trying to force him into the bubble. Cue my favorite line, “YOU STILL GOTTA PLAY!”

I won’t mention Dame since you finally all give him his respect. It was well overdue. I guess Giannis isn’t an MVP candidate anymore because he won 2 in a row. He’s got to win a title before you give him another? Sure. Based upon how the media awards MVPs, I’m sure he should still be top 3 with Embiid and Jokic, but you’ve got motives, right? This dude turned Brook Lopez into a defensive threat and his presence allowed for Lopez to comfortably extend his range. Keep sleeping.

At some point, you’ve got to acknowledge the star power that exists throughout the entire league. When LeBron, KD, and Steph retire, I anticpate you’ll all become chickens with your heads cut off. Your only attachment at this current moment is Luka, but he’s been losing so you can’t crown him. Maybe your strategy is flawed. Watch the players over the entire NBA and realize there’s more to be consumed than what you’ve been watching for an extended period of time.

We paid heavy attention to Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Kobe, Iverson, T-Mac, Vince Carter, LeBron, KG, Dirk, Tim Duncan, and others that came before and after them as soon as they hit the league. Mainstream media has Luka in this space but this time with NO variety. I think it’s time for you to skip a few games of whoever you love and to watch what’s happening across the league before you end up scrambling to acknowledge them… Once it’s too late and you’re the last to report on them. That’s the true definition of being a bandwagon fan and front-running. Then you’ll oversaturate everything. Don’t say I’m not telling the truth. Don’t run into the rookie wall.