Apr 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James was one vote shy of being a unanimous MVP — that vote went to Carmelo Anthony instead.

Nearly a decade later, James still harbors ill will towards the voter, who prevented him from becoming the first one to win the unanimous award. Shaquille O’Neal suffered that same fate in 1999-2000, receiving 120 of 121 votes. It wasn’t until Stephen Curry (2015-16) that someone was unanimously named the MVP.

And James feels like he was robbed of becoming the first. He hasn’t particularly taken kindly to it and seemingly threatened to expose the voter who did so.

“I also had an opportunity to be the first unanimous MVP if I’d gotten all 120 votes,” he said. “But I got 119.”

“I know who the one vote was,” James added. “He voted for Carmelo… It was a writer from Boston – of course. I know his name, too, but I ain’t gonna give him that light just yet. I’ll wait for the doc on that one.”


The problem is that everyone already knows who the voter is — Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

At the time, James thought it was a writer from New York, but that wasn’t the case.

“It’s probably a writer out of New York who didn’t give me the vote,” James said during the award ceremony, via ESPN. I know the history between the Heat and the Knicks, so I get it.”

Washburn explained in an article published in the Globe a day later that he was the voter who cast his vote for Anthony instead of James.

Washburn argued that Anthony was more impactful for his team during the 2012-13 season than James. The columnist credited Anthony with reviving the Knicks, who at the time secured their first division title in almost 20 years. He reasoned that the Knicks wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Anthony, whereas the Miami Heat had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh alongside James.

He also predicted James would eventually be the NBA’s first seven-time MVP, emphasizing his vote wasn’t biased toward James. The irony here is that would be the last time that the now-39-year-old James would be voted as the league’s Most Valuable Player, so it’s understandable that he would still be up in arms over the fact that he was “robbed” of being the first unanimous MVP in league history.

But saying that he knows the voter by name when everyone knows that Washburn was the one who did it implies that James knows something that everyone else doesn’t. Trying to expose someone who already exposed themselves seems like a weird justification. You don’t have to agree with Washburn — and many people don’t — but it’s not like he hid behind anonymity and waited to release a tell-all book a decade later.

It should also be noted that James assumed that the voter was from New York, which was later proven wrong not even 24 hours after he made his acceptance speech. He now knows that the writer is from Boston but refuses to shine a light on the fact of anything else other than he knows his name. Perhaps this was his selling point in revealing some unknown information to be seen when this “doc” comes to light; perhaps not.

It’s a little strange, considering Gary Washburn already outed himself 10 years ago.

[HoodiiBron on X via BroBible]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.