The NBA MVP race still has many chapters left to play out

Kawhi Leonard drew some fresh heat in the NBA MVP race this week after a masterful two-way performance against the Rockets and their MVP candidate James Harden. This isn’t to say that Kawhi is a sudden MVP candidate, just that his candidacy reached a fever pitch this week.

One night later, Russell Westbrook put up 58 points in vain as the Thunder lost their fourth straight. Make no mistake: Oklahoma City lost in spite of Westbrook. The Thunder won the 35 minutes Russ was on the court and badly lost the 13 he sat.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. As many goals as I have in my NHL career. Forget Patrik Laine vs. Auston Matthews or the Blue Jackets’ historic win streak. When all is said and done, Riley Sheahan’s goal drought might be the most amazing stat to come out of the 2016-17 NHL season.

How rare is it? Only 21 players in NHL history have played at least 60 games without a goal. And Sheahan is about to become the guy with the most shots and no reward in NHL history.

Sheahan’s season is so bad, so perplexing, that the Red Wings seriously considered just moving on from him at the trade deadline. Remember, he’s just 25 years old. He might’ve been the best buy-low player on the market.

TSN held a segment called “Is Ho-Sang wearing 66 disrespectful?” Blogs primed themselves for debate.

Never mind the fact that billions of players have worn Gordie Howe’s 9. Or Yzerman’s 19. Or Sakic’s 19. Nobody seemed angry when five other players wore number 66.

But Ho-Sang was the lightning rod that required this “respect” discussion to happen. Here’s a list of players who’ve had that “respect” debate follow them early in their careers: P.K. Subban. Evander Kane. Nail Yakupov. All players of color or Europeans. Hmm. Interesting. Surely a coincidence, and not a deeper cultural issue buried even deeper than the sport’s team-first culture.1