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Explaining Derrick Rose’s first-place MVP vote

Knicks guard Derrick Rose, who received an MVP vote

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Derrick Rose #4 of the New York Knicks looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on May 15, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Nikola Jokic won MVP. As expected and deserved.

Derrick Rose got a first-place vote. What?!

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

This makes far more sense than a media member selecting Rose.

But it’s still pretty darned surprising.

The NBA has given fans an MVP vote through online voting the last 12 years. For the previous seven years, the league has announced the the fans’ top five (along with each media ballot).

In the first six years with public disclosure, fans’ gave their first-place vote to the MVP winner. Last year, the fan first-place vote went to LeBron James, who received 15 first-place media votes and finished second overall.

In 2019, LeBron got his only MVP vote – a fifth-place vote – from fan voting. That was the wonkiest revealed fan-voting outcome until Rose this year.

Rose is a popular player, and playing for the New York Knicks only boosts his profile. Be he still ranked just 33rd in All-Star fan voting this year.

And that’s not even accounting for him, you know, not coming anywhere close to deserving an MVP vote.