This past Friday I received some very exciting news. I got a call from an unknown 703 number, and as I usually do, I did not answer. Whomever it was however left a voice-mail; so when I reached a stopping point at work, I went to the bathroom and listened to it. It was probably the best 30 second message I’ve heard yet in my life. It was a call from the dean of admissions at George Mason University Law School reaching out to me to inform me that I had been admitted to their law school. A couple days later, I received an acceptance package in the mail, including a notice of a renewable scholarship, which will pay about 25% of tuition a year.
A month ago I received an email from American University Washington School of Law, telling me the same thing: that I had been admitted into their Law school as well. Now, I am not sharing this to brag and boast; I’m simply sharing this to motivate. When I graduated high school back in 2010, applying to American University for even their undergraduate program was something that I’d never even consider doing. I was overlooked by many colleges, and an after thought to even those who accepted me; but I deserved that, as I didn’t take high school seriously. The feeling of being unwanted and a second choice, however, motivated me all throughout my undergraduate career. Now, my collegiate career, as well as the steps I undertook after college (getting a job with some of the best real estate attorneys in the state of Virginia, prepping for the LSAT, minimizing time socializing, working out my mind, body and soul, etc) has earned me admission to a top 50 Law school in this country, and many scholarship opportunities at other schools.
These days, I come home to at least one letter, and about three emails from law schools all over the country trying to recruit me. Again, my intention is not to brag or put a spotlight on myself, but rather to motivate. I had a dream, I had a plan, I executed and I achieved. Its really that simple. I thank everyone who played a role in helping me accomplish this goal but at the end of the day, it was my will that created a way for this dream to become a reality. If I can do it, anyone can. We all have goals, all have dreams. Unfortunately, many of us are a “BUT” away from chasing them. But this, but that. No, but nothing. Erase all doubt. Nothing worthwhile comes easy; and luckily just because something won’t be easy doesn’t mean it is impossible. Believe in yourself, think rationally, have a plan, and you can make anything happen!
The NBA playoffs is right around the corner, and as the season winds down, the regular season awards conversation gets heavy. A lot of analysts and “experts” have made their cases for why their MVP selections deserve the award; I, on the other hand, am going to make an argument against each of the popular candidates. I’m going to narrow in on some reasons why each candidate should perhaps not win the award. I’d like to let it be known upfront that I am not “hating” on any of the candidates; instead I am giving an objective opinion keying in on the “cons” since all other media outlets are focused on the “pros.” At the end of it, I will let YOU, the reader, decide who you believe is still worthy of the award.
James Harden – Houston Rockets
As it stands, James Harden is arguably the favorite to end up taking home the MVP trophy for his stellar performance this year. Although I too believe he should win the award, here is my one big (and only) argument against the Beard: If the Rockets finish anywhere below number 2 in the West, Harden’s “heroics” would appear a lot less impressive. Throughout the season, we’ve given Harden credit for carrying his injury plagued team despite the inconsistencies in the line-up; however, if he can’t carry them to a seed close enough to the first (considering the number 1 spot is already locked up), his accomplishments may lose some value. This isn’t to say that it won’t be impressive, it just wouldn’t be AS impressive.
Steph Curry – Golden State Warriors
The second most popular name that comes up in MVP talks is that of Stephen Curry. Leading his team to the best record in the league, Steph is having a a phenomenal season and has certainly made himself of one the household names in the NBA this season. Despite it all, here are a few reasons why he shouldn’t win the MVP award. First off, Steph had a better season statistically last year than he is having this year. Last year he averaged 24.0 PPG with 8.5 APG; this year he is close with 23.6 PPG and 7.7 APG. This isn’t a huge difference, but the drop-off in assists shows how less of an impact he actually has on the team this year, as opposed to last. Last season, he was expected to ultimately create everything for the Warrior’s offense, sort of how Harden has to this year; this yea however, Steve Kerr has implanted a system that involves more ball/team movement and less dependance on Steph’s individual ability, which segues perfectly to my next point. My second and most important argument against Steph Curry winning the MVP award is that Steve Kerr, more so than Steph, is responsible for the huge improvement in the Warrior’s record. Steve has elevated the play of everyone on this very talented Warrior’s roster and used the weapons available to his fullest capacity. If anything HE is deserving of the coach of the year award more so than Steph is of the MVP award. Lastly, the fact that Steph plays with a player who is able to drop 37 in a quarter and 52 in a game goes to show the kind of quality he has on his roster. One could argue that Klay Thompson is nearly as valuable to the Warriors’ success as Steph Curry is. That unfortunately hurts his MVP stock.
Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
Ever since his return from his second major injury this season, Russ has caught a lot of media attention with his triple double streak. This, however, is not enough to earn the MVP honors and here is why. Firstly, Westbrook has missed 15 of the 78 games that OKC has played this season. That might not seem like much, but thats close to 20% of the season that he’s been out. Although it isn’t by choice, this absence certainly hurts his MVP stock. Secondly, his team may not even make the playoffs! As it stands right this very moment, OKC sits in the 9th spot behind the Pelicans in a very tight race for the 8th spot in the Western Conference. Should the Thunder not make the playoff, Russ should automatically be disqualified from any MVP chatter. Lastly, despite his eye popping numbers, one can argue that Westbrook’s play hasn’t always lifted the Thunder as you would assume that it would. Russ has always been known as a gunner, and even though his assist numbers have reached career highs at times this season, there have been many games where he has shot the Thunder out of games, literally. His numbers have been impressive, but his play hasn’t always had a positive impact on his team’s chances of winning. For all these reasons, Russ has a very slim chance of actually walking away with the MVP trophy this season.
LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
King James is the undisputed best player in the league, and a personal favorite of mine; however, this year’s MVP award will most likely not be going home with him and here’s why. For starters, LeBron practically forfeited the award when he voluntarily decide to sit out 10 games in the earlier stages of the season. Although that “hiatus” created a rejuvenated monster, it significantly affected his MVP stock. Secondly, LeBron is playing with another dominant player worthy of some MVP recognition, much like Steph Curry is. Kyrie Irving has had arguably the most efficient season yet in his young NBA career, putting up career highs in shooting percentages. Although LeBron is obviously the most valuable player on the team, one could make the argument that the team certainly wouldn’t be as successful without Irving. Lastly, the media is simply tired of LeBron at this point. This might sound illogical and almost absurd as a justification against LeBron’s MVP pursuit, but it’s true. LeBron has collected 4 MVP awards since his entry into the NBA, and at this point the media is practically tired of handing him trophies. That will unfortunately play a role in the end.
With all that being said, the questions remains: who is this year’s NBA MVP? Comment below.