Christopher L. Gasper

My vote wouldn’t have been for LeBron James

Everyone knows the feeling of having a song stuck in your head on repeat. The same can happen with sports opinions. So, it’s time to hit play on what iThink and put some of those sports thoughts on shuffle while listening to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” in honor of Globe NBA writer Gary Washburn.

1. I think that if I had an NBA MVP vote, I wouldn’t have voted for LeBron James, either. Washburn gave his vote to New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, preventing King James from being a unanimous MVP. I would have cast my vote for Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.

The award is not for the most outstanding, the most dominant, or the most transcendent player. That’s LeBron, no contest. It’s for the most valuable, which always has been nebulous and open to interpretation. You see how Durant-dependent OKC is in the playoffs, especially with running mate Russell Westbrook sidelined by a torn meniscus.


Plus, Durant became only the second player in NBA history to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (51), 40 percent from 3-point range (41.6), and 90 percent from the free throw line (90.5) while averaging at least 28 points per game (28.1) in a season. The other? Larry Bird, who did it in 1986-87 and 1987-88.

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2. I think if I were Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge I would trade Paul Pierce, not because Pierce can’t play anymore but because he still can. The fact is, the Celtics are just putting off the inevitable at this point. They can either peel away the Band-Aid very slowly or rip it off and rip up this team.

This might be the maximum trade value Pierce, who turns 36 in October, is going to have before he starts to really decline. The Knicks series was unsightly for the Captain, and even Tommy Heinsohn commented in Game 6 that Pierce had no lift left. But Pierce is still good enough to help put some team over the top and bring assets back to the Celtics.

3. I think, despite what I just said about Pierce, I wouldn’t blame the Celtics for bringing the band back for one more year. After watching the Knicks’ near self-immolation against a Celtics team that had no Rajon Rondo and a bench shallower than Kim Kardashian, you can make a case that a core of Rondo, Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jeff Green can compete with the non-Miami entries in the East. Plus, the patina of being a championship contender versus a lottery team in limbo is much more marketable from a business standpoint.

4. I think that the most encouraging development of the Celtics season was the emergence of Green. Ainge views Green as more a building block than a trade chip, and he showed why this postseason. Green came into the New York series as a career 37.4 percent shooter in the playoffs, but he averaged 20.3 points per game and didn’t shy away from big shots.


5. I think that the Patriots’ selection of Rutgers safety Duron Harmon in the third round calls into question the team’s draft protocol. If Harmon can play, who cares if he was over-drafted? (Yes, there is such a term.) But old friend Mike Reiss wrote in his Patriots Mailbag for that Belichick may have seen something in Harmon that his own scouts didn’t and that the selection may have been a unilateral decision.

In 2009, a team source told me about Belichick overriding and overwriting the team’s draft board. Ultimately, Belichick has final say, and he has earned it. But the team’s college scouts spend months on the road evaluating players. It’s their primary focus. It’s not Belichick’s until the season is over.

6. I think the Patriots should issue second-round pick Aaron Dobson a number other than 17. The last two highly drafted Patriots receivers to wear the number — Taylor Price (third round in 2010) and Chad Jackson (second round in 2006) — combined for 16 career catches with New England. On behalf of Patriots fans everywhere, give Dobson another number and a chance.

7. I think Jaromir Jagr is miscast as a third-line winger for the Bruins. You don’t buy a Porsche 911 and then use it to haul fertilizer from Home Depot every weekend. You don’t relegate Jagr, who even at the advanced age of 41 is still capable of pucks prestidigitation to the third line alongside Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. The active leader in playoff goals, Jagr is a skill player — emphasis on “skill.”

8. I think the Jackie Bradley Jr. service-time debate was much ado about nothing. The Pawtucket Red Sox placed Bradley, sent down by the Sox April 18, on the seven-day disabled list Monday with right biceps tendinitis. He’s going to spend the 20 days in the minors that the Sox needed to restore the year of free agency they “sacrificed” by having him start the year on the big league roster. This was always a win-win scenario for the Sox, but we still wasted a lot of words and breath arguing over it.


9. I think Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is a victim of medical science. Miraculous recoveries from major injuries for athletes, who are now doing everything but regenerating limbs, have become so commonplace that anyone who doesn’t rush back post-haste is questioned.

Despite being a Chicago native and the resurrector of the Bulls, that is happening to Rose, who is being excoriated by Chicago media for his non-comeback. One newspaper columnist said that the best way the 2011 NBA MVP can help the Bulls now is to say he’s done for the season.

10. I think it’s good to see Mariano Rivera back where he belongs. The Yankees closer emeritus started Monday tied for the AL lead in saves with 11 and sporting a 2.19 earned run average in his return from a torn ACL. Pulling for the Pinstripes is hard. Rooting for the 43-year-old Rivera, the epitome of grace under pressure, in his final season is not.

Christopher L. Gasper can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @cgasper.