By Matt Reevy

The real 2014 NBA MVP award is only going to one of two players, and it’ll either be LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Some of that falls on the argument over what a “most valuable” player is — the best player? The winningest player? The most stylishly skilled? The one that sells the most jerseys to the most markets? But the majority of it is fueled by the threat of the backlash that would erupt around the fandom if either LBJ or KD weren’t elected for the award.

So, that’s that. It’s the same reason why the league shifted the All-Star voting to a fan vote in 2003. The majority must be sated. That’s cool — the fandom isn’t often wrong, at least not when it pertains to which players should be part of the All-Star festivities and such. Sure, it offers a heavy benefit to players who are in larger markets, or players who appeal more strongly to a specific segment of fan, but those guys have more fans, so they get more votes, so they get into the All-Star Game. There’s no way Kobe Bryant, who spent much of 2013 physically unable to play basketball, should’ve been a legitimate ballot choice.

Basketball ain’t about votes, anyway. It’s about buckets and awesome. In fact, the dictionary definition of basketball, courtesy of the OED, describes it as a “container, usually a bucket, filled with awesome.” So, in that spirit, here are five NBA players that brought the awesome — even when they were in the middle of nowhere on Late Night League Pass.

1. Corey Brewer — Minnesota Timberwolves, Forward

Corey Brewer plays basketball like a 16-year-old with a learner’s permit on the road: to the fearful consternation of everyone in his vicinity. He does not play hoops in any way that looks safe, parent-approved, or in control. It’s the best. Brewer (who is averaging just under 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists a game in 32 minutes) is a non-entity until you hit transition. Then, when he takes off with the speed of a roadrunner and the apparent limb coordination of a baby giraffe, he becomes an entity unique among the NBA landscape. With the amount of time the Timberwolves spend looking to get out and run, each game is going to feature at least one Corey Brewer sighting. Like watching a mythical beast descend from the heavens and then trip on a pebble.

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