There’s a growing trend that’s gained too much momentum lately in arenas around the NBA. Fans chanting “MVP” for any player that gives even a halfway decent performance on a given night. This isn’t meant to discourage fans from chanting, but I’m only asking if we can think of something more suited for each moment. And that moment depends on which player on the court is being shown love from the fans in attendance. But every player can’t be the MVP in the same way there aren’t 1,000 GOATs running around.
It’s cool to chant and show respect to the athletes but let’s switch it up sometimes. Some players are even uncomfortable hearing this as they’re trying to focus during a game. Washington Wizards forward Montrezl Harrell was asked about hearing MVP throughout the arena while shooting free throws and admitted that he hates it but loves it at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, Derrick Rose heard fans at the United Center in Chicago hurl MVP chants his way while at the free-throw line. The difference here is Rose won the award while playing for the Bulls in 2011. After so many injuries, Rose hasn’t been that player in quite some time but is still an outstanding NBA point guard who sometimes shows flashes of what he once was in Chicago. Bulls fans chanting MVP for Rose, I understand entirely.
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Even if there’s a player on a team that hasn’t won an MVP, but maybe they’re in the conversation at the time, go ahead yell it from the mountain top. Like when Joel Embiid received the MVP treatment from Philly fans last season. He was one of the top three contenders for the honor for a good portion of last year. He didn’t win it, but he was right there in the race most of the season.
But once deep bench players start hearing MVP directed at them, I think it’s safe to say we’ve jumped the shark at that moment. I’m not saying a player can’t start at the bottom and rise up, but let ‘em earn it. Allow them to show you over more than just a couple of good games that they’re worthy of such praise.
All I’m saying is let’s get a little more creative and shake up the chant game just a bit. How about “You don’t suck, you don’t suck” when a player makes his free throws in a high-pressure situation. If you want to guarantee Lebron James never wins another NBA title, then do that in the postseason when he steps to the line. He might not ever make another free throw. Or maybe the next time Georges Niang steps to the line for the 76ers at home, the fans could start a “better than Benny” chant. Niang is a career 87.6 percent shooter from the line. Fans in Philadelphia are already upset about the whole Ben Simmons situation anyway, so let ‘em take out their frustration in a semi-civilized manner. I guarantee you Embiid would gladly lose his mind over this one.