Rules for Chanting “M-V-P”

Last night I was watching the Wizards-Heat game, and the few people in attendance (seriously, there were entire sections that were empty) started an “M-V-P” chant for Dwyane Wade. Now, I think Dwyane Wade has what it takes to be an MVP, but it’s WAY too early in the season to be giving anyone the M-V-P chant.

In general, the M-V-P chant has gotten way out of control in recent years. First of all, no MVP voter has ever considered “number of M-V-P chants” before casting his or her ballot. Also, there are so many more creative things to chant -- “M-V-P” is starting to feel like “over-rated” in over-used chants. If you’re a Cavs fan, trying doing an “Ak-ron Ham-mer, ”, Yankees style, for LeBron. He’s already an MVP. You don’t need to remind everyone constantly.

So, with that in mind, here are my guidelines for chanting “M-V-P” at an NBA game:

  1. No chanting M-V-P until at least 50 games into the season. Sure, it may have seemed cool to chant M-V-P for Kevin Garnett early last season, but how cool was it when he missed the last three months of the year? Plus, the last thing you want to do is suffer from a Guy Morriss-esque premature celebration. 
  2. If more than 10 percent of your seats are empty, you shouldn’t be chanting for anything, much less M-V-P. Real MVPs can sell out their home venues.
  3. If the target of your MVP chants doesn’t rank in the top 7 in the league in scoring, top 3 in rebounding or top 3 in assists, then please stop. The only MVP in the last 30 years who didn’t meet those standards was Dirk Nowitzki, and after his 2007 playoff flameout, he should have had to return his award.
  4. You can only chant M-V-P in the final six minutes of a game in which the target’s team has the game in hand. If you start an MVP chant in the first quarter, or when your team is down by 10 points, you should be immediately ejected from the arena.
  5. Only chant M-V-P for a genuine MVP moment (thunderous dunk, buzzer-beater, crazy blocked shot). Do not chant M-V-P for routine jumpers, layups or free throws (exception: the M-V-P chant started after a thunderous dunk can continue during the free throw in an and-1 situation).
  6. Once the regular season is over, all M-V-P chants should stop (since, you know, the award’s already been voted on). M-V-P chants are allowed to resume for one playoff game, when the actual MVP receives his award. They must immediately cease again after that game.
  7. The only time an M-V-P chant should be started in the Finals is during the last minutes of a potential clinching game, and then only for the winning team’s absolute best player. If your team is about to win a title with Tony Parker or Cedric Maxwell getting Finals MVP honors, that’s great, but chanting M-V-P only demeans the actual superstar on the team.
  8. You can only chant M-V-P for a visiting player for two reasons: either you’re a fan of the visiting team, and have somehow scored tickets to a road game (in which case, all previous rules except the 90% capacity rule apply), or your team has spent much of the previous decade clearing cap space to woo the potential MVP to town. Otherwise, you should be ejected from the arena. If any home crowd starts multiple M-V-P chants for road players in the same season (I’m looking at you, 2007-08 Knicks), the entire front office should be fired.
Follow these rules, and we’ll all be better, smarter fans.