By Zagrieb Zano
It is never too early to speculate on potential MVP candidates. Voters may look at a variety of stats. The best voters will look at the intangibles. Regardless, there is some incredible talent for us to choose from.
Let’s begin in upstate New York. Dave Williams leads the league in scoring at an incredible 33.9 points a game. He is responsible for over 30% of the team’s offense. He is also helping out with 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game. With his team’s slow start, that may hurt his chances for a team award, but people want to see him knock down the long 3 ball. He has range like no other player.
Just a bit south is a man who has gotten used to living on an island. Wayne Taylor of Long Island. As a side note, I’ve always wondered what it would be like living on an island. Taylor who is yearly one of the usual suspects when it comes to MVP talks. He is having his best scoring season since the 8rd grade. With a 32.9 scoring average and putting down 7.1 boards a game. Wayne is the only reason that Long Island is competing. He has officially been put on the trade block, which seems odd when you have the most decorated player in WBA history. But with Michael Esposito running the team, nobody is surprised. Will voters be able to look past the average team that Wayne is on?
On yet another Island of New York, Brooklyn star Mario Bailey is starting to get some real attention. And he deserves it. He leads 2nd place Brooklyn Rage ins scoring. Averaging 28.3 points a game which is a full 5 points better than any other season he has had. While Brooklyn does have Omar Jefferson to help out. The Rage is clearly Mario’s team. He is a pure shooting guard through and through. Perhaps the biggest knock is like the others listed up to this point, how do you vote a guy that cannot put his team in first place and keep it?
Which leads us to another North East Division team, who benefits from not living on an island. Walt Jackson of the Toronto Dinos, is the easiest pick at this point. Averaging 28.8 pionts again and 11.5 rebounds a game. As an individual he is regarded by most as the best player in the league. But MVP isn’t always about the best player, it’s about the best player for that team. It is hard to say that Jackson isn’t the MVP up to this point, as he is dominating night in and night out. And unlike those previously mentioned, he has his team in first place. But can he keep it?
Down south in Miami, Dave Troychak is having a lights out year. While he is averaging 22 points a game, he falls into the category that this team doesn’t lead its division for long if he’s not there. And while he is a long shot at this point, he deserves to be mentioned.
On the other side of the continent, Oregon Bears star Bishop Stein is doing his best to receive the respect that he deserves. 24.2 pointsm 5.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals a game. He really is doing it all for this team. He has his team in first place, and very easily could be the MVP this season. In 15 games, he has been the player of the game 9 times. Nobody else can claim that except for one player.
If you are on the best team in the league, that has to count for something. Capetown’s Abdiel Gordon does it all. 25.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals. Abdiel feels the rains down in Africa, with 11 player of the game awards and 2 players of the week. Would the Zulu’s be good with our Gordon; yes, they would be, GM Adrian Arceo has built a solid team across the board. But with Gordon they are odds on favorite to make it to the championship.
Take a ride over to Gabon, this small country’s basketball team is to me the surprise of the league. They are a terrific 9-4. A lot of that belongs to John Devine. He has improved in virtually every statistical category that we care about. 24.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 blocks. If it wasn’t for John Devine, we wouldn’t even realize that Gabon still has a team. The truth is, they do, they have uniforms and everything, it’s really great. As of right now, to me John Devine is the league MVP, the Giants are dead without him.
Shamir Sheth leads Sacramento with 28.8 points and 6.9 rebounds along with 3 assists. He is probably a long shot for the MVP award, His team is in second with a respectable 8-5 record. Any team would love to have Sheth on their team. If somehow Sacramento can pass up Oregon, then the vote for Shamir becomes more likely.
Frankfurt’s Branko Filipovic, deserves to be in the discussion. He leads the team scoring 27.2 points a game. Frankfurt plays in a weak division which hurts Branko’s chances, but he is an incredible player and people need to be aware of him.
Shemar Mahara is a long shot, but this young budding star is responsible for his Disco mates leading the Euro division. 23.7 points, 4 assists, and 3.6 rebounds. While he isn’t the house hold name yet. He will be, he makes 3.2 million a year. In two years, that is going to increase 4 fold.
SLC Fanatics – Cordell Parks
New York Liberty – Darond Lyons
Long Island Mayhem – Danny Hainge
Miami Xtreme – Isaac Edmondson
Toronto Dinos – Jervan Timmons
While there is still much of the season left. The cream of the crop will rise to the top. The amount of talent in the league is staggering. If you want the best of the best, then the WBA has what you need.