Wilfredo Leon might be only 24 years old, but it looks like he already is to volleyball what Lebron James is to basketball. Wildly considered the best player in the NBA since after his first few seasons in the league, James was awarded the league`s MVP award in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, only to be forgotten in the latter years, even though he has only gotten better since then. The fact is, James is so good that giving him the MVP award every single NBA season would`t fare well economically for the league. Well, the same thing now seems to be happening to Wilfredo Leon.
Backtrack to the 2017 FIVB Club World Championships. After leading Zenit Kazan to the competition`s title, without losing a single set in the way, Leon missed out on the award, which was given to Lube`s Osmany Juantorena, who quickly stated that Leon was in fact, the most deserving of the accolade. More recently, in the just finished Champions League Finals, Leon was once again forgotten, with teammate Maxim Mikhailov winning the award.
How can the competition`s organizations justify these facts? Wilfredo Leon is by far always the most dominating player in the court whenever he plays. As an example, consider his scoring average in the Champions League Finals 4 of 6.37 points per set (a whole point higher than Mikhailov`s 5.25). If you consider the finals against Lube, things get even more out of proportion, as the Cuban anchored his team with 33 points on 26/46 hitting (57%) to Mikhailov`s 24 points on 22/45 hitting (49%).
Leon doesn’t care though. As he did after he wasn`t awarded the accolade after the Club WCH, here was his reaction after his most recent award dud (siatka.org):
“The MVP award is not the most important thing for me. I did a very good job today, and so did Mikhailov.”
Competitions` organizers are taking Leon`s volleyball greatness for granted.