Al Finishes 8th in MVP Voting
After a banner year, leading the Charlotte Bobcats to their second best finish in franchise history, Al Jefferson earned a nod from the media in its 2014 MVP voting.
Garnering 34 total points, Big Al finished eighth in the balloting—placing him third among all Eastern Conference players. He was also second among all centers, behind only Chicago’s Joakim Noah.
No. 25 led the Bobcats in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds through the regular season. Both figures are his best since the 2008-09 season, when he averaged 23.1 points and 11 boards per game while with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
His efforts led Charlotte to a 43-39 record, good for No. 2 in franchise history. The Cats earned the No. 7 seed in the East and made just their second postseason trip ever.
Unfortunately, with Big Al slowed by painful plantar fasciitis, the Cats were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Miami’s star, LeBron James, was the two-time reigning MVP, but he was usurped by Oklahoma City’s budding star Kevin Durant, who claimed the award for the first time in his career after leading the league with an average of 32 points per game.
Al garnered two third-place votes, four fourth-place votes and 12 fifth-place votes, resulting in the eighth-place finish—the highest of his career. That put him just behind Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers and just ahead of Indiana’s Paul George.
— McBeastie (@McBeastie) May 6, 2014
— Charlotte Bobcats PR (@BobcatsPR) May 6, 2014
Excuse me. Al Jefferson finished 8th in MVP voting. Huge for a Charlotte player
— Trevor McGowan (@mcgowan_trevor) May 6, 2014
Of note, Big Al bested several of the league’s top big men, including Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Kevin Love of Minnesota.
No. 25 also received two votes—one second- and one third-place—for Most Improved Player of the Year. He finished 19th in the voting, just behind Durant.
Full results can be seen on NBA.com.