20 Second Timeout is the place to find the best analysis and commentary about the NBA.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kobe Bryant: 2006 NBA MVP

Kobe Bryant's scoring average has hovered around 35 ppg for most of the year and, with one exception, every player who has averaged 34-plus ppg has finished in the top five in MVP balloting. One could argue that the previous 34 ppg scorers should not have received such strong MVP consideration and that a lot of players could score 34-plus points if they took a lot of shots--but this line of reasoning is faulty because very few players could consistently get off 25-plus field goal attempts a game in the NBA, let alone convert enough of them to score 34 points while also rebounding, passing and defending. It may be true that there are a lot of NBA players who are capable of scoring 34 points in a game but very few are capable of averaging 34 points per game for a season.

The criticism that all Bryant cares about is scoring and that his style of play is not conducive to team success is refuted by the fact that the Lakers have a better winning percentage when Bryant scores 40-plus points than when he scores less than 40 points. He is carrying what otherwise would be a Lottery team to the playoffs. Here is my complete take on this year's MVP race:

The NBA regular season is winding down and it will take about two months for the ultimate reality TV series--the NBA playoffs--to determine the 2006 NBA champion. Before that happens, approximately 125 members of the media will cast ballots to select the 2005-06 NBA Most Valuable Player.

The NBA has never defined the criteria for the regular season MVP award--should it go to the best player on the best team, the most statistically productive player or the player who is most indispensable to his team? My standard for selecting an MVP is simple: if I were choosing up sides among all players in the NBA, which player would I select first on the basis of his play during this season (not during his career), disregarding age, salary and any other factors that do not relate directly to his current on-court performance.

There are several worthy MVP candidates, but I would pick Kobe Bryant. Some might object, based on his team's record or the high number of shots that he attempts. Watching the Lakers play without Bryant—either when he is on the bench or during the two games that he missed, both of which the Lakers lost—it is clear that this team would struggle to win 20 games without him. The Lakers are one of the youngest teams in the league and have a promising future, but right now Bryant's prolific scoring, clutch play and will to win are carrying the team. As for his high scoring average and high number of shot attempts, history shows that Kobe Bryant must receive strong MVP consideration. He almost certainly will finish the season with a 34-plus ppg average, something that has been accomplished only 15 times in NBA history and just twice in the ABA. Only once has a player averaged more than 34 ppg and finished outside of the top five in MVP balloting—Wilt Chamberlain scored 44.8 ppg for the 31-49 San Francisco Warriors in 1962-63 and trailed Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Bob Pettit, Jerry West and Johnny "Red" Kerr in that year’s MVP voting. Bryant's Lakers will have a better record than 31-49 and, to paraphrase Rick Pitino, Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor and the others are not walking through the door, so if Bryant does not finish in the top five in MVP voting this year it will be an upset of historic proportions.

Chamberlain averaged 34-plus ppg a record six times, winning one MVP and finishing second in MVP balloting two other times during those seasons. Elgin Baylor had three 34-plus ppg seasons, each of them happening in a year during which Chamberlain also averaged 34-plus ppg. Baylor finished second, third and fourth in MVP balloting; in his fourth place year he played in only 48 games due to a military service commitment. Michael Jordan is the only other NBA player to have multiple 34-plus ppg seasons, winning an MVP in 1987-88 when he scored 35.0 ppg for the 50-32 Chicago Bulls and finishing second to Magic Johnson when he averaged 37.1 ppg for the 40-42 1986-87 Bulls. Rick Barry, the only player to win a scoring title in the NCAA, NBA and ABA, is also the only player to have a 34-plus ppg season in the NBA and the ABA. He finished fifth in NBA MVP balloting in 1966-67; in 1968-69 injury limited him to 35 games for the ABA's Oakland Oaks, but his 34.0 ppg average earned him a berth on the All-ABA First Team (Mel Daniels won the ABA MVP that year but I do not have access to ABA MVP balloting totals to determine how many votes Barry received). The only other ABA player to average 34 ppg, Charlie Scott, also did not play a complete season; he jumped to the NBA's Phoenix Suns before the end of the 1971-72 season and was placed on the ABA's suspended list. This perhaps explains why he only made the All-ABA Second Team despite posting the highest scoring average in ABA history (34.6 ppg) and after making the All-ABA First Team the previous year when he averaged 27.1 ppg and shared Rookie of the Year honors with Dan Issel.

Bryant's MVP resume includes a 34.8 ppg average (first in the NBA), 41.1 mpg (fifth in the NBA), 1.81 spg (tenth in the NBA) and .850 free throw shooting (15th in the NBA). He ranks third in the NBA in free throw attempts and first in free throws made; by drawing so many fouls he not only adds to his own point total, he also gets the opposing team in foul trouble and enables the Lakers to get in the bonus early in quarters, which provides more free throw attempts for his teammates. On January 22, he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, an individual single game scoring explosion that ranks second in NBA history behind only Chamberlain's legendary 100 point game. Bryant also had a 62 point game against Dallas in which he outscored the entire Mavericks team for the first three quarters of the game before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Those are the two highest scoring individual games this season; the next best game is a 53 point effort by Allen Iverson. Bryant owns four of the top ten highest scoring games this season and has a league high 21 games of 40-plus points, eight more than Iverson. The Lakers are 14-7 in those games, reinforcing the point that they need Bryant to shoot and score a lot in order to be successful. If Bryant pushes his average over 35.0 ppg he will finish with the ninth highest season scoring average in NBA history and as long as he stays at or above 34.8 ppg he will rank in the top ten all-time.

My MVP ballot would look like this:

1) Kobe Bryant
2) Steve Nash
3) Dirk Nowitzki
4) Tim Duncan
5) LeBron James

Here are my thoughts on the remaining players in my top five and some other players who have been touted as MVP candidates:

Steve Nash won the 2004-05 MVP and is having an even better season this year. He leads the league in apg (10.6) and free throw shooting (.924) and has increased his scoring average from 15.5 ppg to a career-high 19.5 ppg. Nash is having the best rebounding season of his career (4.3 rpg). Most significantly, his Phoenix Suns have seemingly not missed a beat despite the absence of All-Star Amare Stoudemire. Nash's supporters point out that several of his teammates are having career best numbers playing alongside him—but that can be looked at in two ways: it is certainly true that Nash makes his teammates better but he is also playing with some really good players. As Michael Jordan liked to retort early in his career when critics said that Magic Johnson did a better job of making his teammates better, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what. If Nash replaced Bryant on this year's Lakers he would not be averaging 10-plus apg because a lot of his passes would be fumbled out of bounds or lead to missed shots. Nash is also, to put it charitably, a less than stellar one-on-one defensive player.

Dirk Nowitzki is averaging career highs in points (26.3 ppg), field goal percentage (.480), free throw shooting (.898) and three point shooting (.417). His stellar play is the biggest reason that the Dallas Mavericks are fighting neck and neck with the San Antonio Spurs to have the best record in the Western Conference.

Tim Duncan has had an off year by his standards, but his numbers are still good (18.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 1.9 bpg) and his Spurs may very well finish with the best record in the West. He has been slowed by a lingering foot injury but his impact is undeniable; the defensive attention that he demands makes Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili—good players in their own right—even better by providing them with open driving lanes to the hoop. Duncan's shot blocking and rebounding are the cornerstones of the perennially tough Spurs defense.

LeBron James is having a wonderful season--31.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 6.7 apg--and his numbers look even more stunning when one considers that he is only 21 years old—but Bryant is more productive individually and Nash, Duncan and Nowitzki have all led their teams to significantly better records. James certainly looks like a future MVP, but if I were choosing up sides today based on this season I still would not take him ahead of those guys. In Billboard terms, he is number five with a bullet—rising up the charts with each breathtaking performance.

Dwyane Wade's statistics rank with any player's in the league and his Miami Heat are firmly entrenched in the number two position in the Eastern Conference—but when Shaquille O’Neal was out of the lineup due to injury the team looked very ordinary. Therefore, although his team has a better record than Bryant's Lakers and James' Cavaliers, a significant portion of the credit for that belongs to O'Neal.

Allen Iverson is a four time scoring champion who is enjoying a career year, which is remarkable in itself; it is even more noteworthy considering that he is almost 31 years old and is shorter than his listed height of 6-0. He is averaging more points, assists and rebounds than he did in 2000-01, the year that he won the MVP, but his team is struggling to stay afloat in the playoff hunt.

Chauncey Billups has been mentioned a lot in MVP discussions this season, but I disagree that he belongs in the same category with Bryant, Nowitzki, Nash and James. He is not even clearly the best player on his own team, let alone being MVP of the NBA. The Detroit Pistons have the best starting five in the NBA and could probably absorb the loss of any one starter and still be a very strong team; Ben Wallace is likely the most indispensable part of that lineup because of his rebounding, defense and tenacity. Billups deservedly made the All-Star team and should make the All-NBA Team, but he is not the MVP.

Elton Brand is having a very good year and is helping to lead the Clippers from the doldrums into the playoffs—but, other than his career high scoring average, he has had similar years statistically in the past and the Clippers went nowhere. The difference this year for the Clippers is the steadying presence of Sam Cassell in the lineup. Brand is a perennial All-Star caliber player but not a true MVP candidate in my book.

Five guys who are flying under the radar deserve to at least be mentioned: Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. They are not going to win the award or even finish in the top five, but they merit strong consideration for the All-NBA Team. Marion is having a wonderful all-around season as a scorer, rebounder and defender; Kidd just shut down Billups and Nash in leading the New Jersey Nets to victories over Detroit and Phoenix; there is a lot more to Carter’s game than flashy dunks—he is rebounding, passing and hitting clutch shots; Yao—particularly since the All-Star Break—is establishing himself as the best center in the league.

Some kind of award should be invented for what Tracy McGrady has done this season. His statistics are down from their usual levels and he has missed a ton of games, but if we define "value" purely by how a player affects wins and losses, Tracy McGrady might win the MVP in a landslide. His Houston Rockets are 27-20 with him in the lineup and 3-20 when he doesn’t play. In other words, with McGrady the Rockets look like a solid playoff team and without him they resemble the woeful 9-73 Philadelphia 76ers from 1972-73—despite having an All-Star center in Yao Ming. Has one player ever had that dramatic of an impact on his team’s record?

Labels: , , , ,

posted by David Friedman @ 7:53 PM

85 comments

links to this post

85 Comments:

At Sunday, April 02, 2006 10:44:00 PM, Blogger www.xpius.com said...

I agree Kobe Definetely deserves MVP!!! MVP stands for Most "valuable" player. and he's By far the most Valuable player in the league.. The lakers without kobe would probably win only 10 games... doesn't that make him valuable??? If Kobe got injured Lakers would ummmmm suck or something...

 
At Tuesday, April 04, 2006 6:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm tired of these kobe haters. the man is single handedlly carying a lottery team to the playoffs, with a comfortable record. the lakers are 40 and 35 right now thanks to kobe's extraordinary play night in and night out. in addition, compared to the other candidates, kobe has the worst supporting cast plus the team is not deep a all, so to those who say he shoots a lot, i say the team wins only if kobe scores 30 or more. kobe is defenitely the mvp and if they give it to somebody else, it would be undjust.

 
At Saturday, April 08, 2006 3:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe is a selfish player he is not deserve to be come mvp...

 
At Saturday, April 08, 2006 3:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kobe can not win the mvp he is very boastful compare to michael and he is very selfish he cannot give any assist to his teamates..81 points is easy for undeffensive team like toronto

 
At Saturday, April 08, 2006 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know that many people hate kobe because of his character background, considering the case filed against him, that's why many of them, including you, would think that he does not deserve the mvp trophy. but let us look at kobe's performance, without also considering the things he has done outside the court. then most of you will realize that he truly deserves the award. being an mvp is about passion of the game, how one has elevated to another level of performance, "the super saiyan performance". and i think he's done it all, and he has it all what it takes to be an mvp as much as how he has electified the court when the game is on the line. let's give the man the credit and put behind that accusation, we cannot deny the fact the we are now living in a kobe era and i think most of you will agree that nba would not be the same without kobe and his performance. 81 points? selfish, but have you seen the game? they were down by at least 18 points during 3rd quarter, he made it through the night because no support was obtained...see the game for yourself and be amazed.

 
At Saturday, April 08, 2006 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous Kelvin Cason said...

Okinawa Japan US Navy writes; Given the facts about Kobe's performance this year that alone should have him ranked as the number one player in the league. I Know allot of people hate Kobe including Charles Barkley but no one can say anything when you look at the numbers. The man is playing like God out there. We should just ask MJ who he thinks should get it, I think he would agree with me "Kobe Bryant 81" Lord of the Rings, and he will get another ring without Shaq...

 
At Sunday, April 09, 2006 8:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

81 points .. who can score like that in this year ? but anyway .. have to wait if KOBE can carry lakers into playoff or not .. if he does .. HE WILL BE MVP THIS YEAR

 
At Monday, April 10, 2006 12:50:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Thank you all for reading the article and posting your thoughts. I have a couple responses to some of the ideas that have been offered. For anonymous, who said that Kobe is "selfish," we know that this is a common criticism of Bryant, but do you have specific examples that show this? In my article I point out how Bryant's high scoring games correlate with winning and in earlier seasons he blended in well enough with Shaq--despite their well known disagreements--to win three championships.

What is an example of Kobe's "boastfulness"? All great players are confident and express this confidence from time to time. I think that Kobe is actually a lot less boastful and demonstrative than many NBA stars who go through gyrations and dances every time they make a good play. If 81 points is easy, how come no one other than Wilt has done it in the history of the game? Is Toronto the worst defensive team in the six decade history of the NBA? If so, how come Wade, LeBron, etc. have not scored 81 against Toronto?

Kevin in Okinawa, thank you for your service to our country. It is humbling and gratifying to realize that I am providing some form of information/entertainment to people halfway around the globe from me. Keep reading and responding.

 
At Monday, April 10, 2006 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe should be a certain winner of the MVP, i am sick of hearing people claim that Steve nash Deserves it. Nash is playing in a great team and the team would win without him.

Without Kobe, The lakers would be the worst side in the competition but with Kobe they are going to make the playoffs with a reasonable record

 
At Tuesday, April 11, 2006 3:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe passes but do they turn into assists? If you watch laker games you're probably thinking usually not. Selfish? A little bit. But I'd argue that he has to be. I wouldn't bet even Steve Nash could get the laker roster (sans kobe) much more "involved".

Speaking of Nash, he has really elevated his team this year. Taking the pacific and elevating many of his teammates to career numbers says a lot for a Stoudemire-less Suns. Personally, I think they'd probably fall short of the playoffs without him but far from being a top lottery team which the Lakers would be without Kobe.

Conclusion, Kobe takes a top lottery team to the playoffs. Nash takes a 8-10 seed team (without Stoudemire) to win the division and atleast the 2nd round. I'm a Kobe fan but it's a tossup to me.

 
At Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two Words: LeBron James

When's the last time a player averaged 31pts 7reb 6ast?

Answer: Michael Jordan

The Cavaliers are on the verge of winning 50 games depsite the injury to Larry Hughes for 40+ games.

The crititcs gang up on him and say he can't score in the 4th, he can't hit game-winners. So, LBJ goes out and hit's 2 game-winners and has been scoring 15-20 points consistenly in the 4th quarters during the Cavaliers 9 game winning streak.

Cavaliers fans can only hope that critics can continue to pick at his game. He is quickly becoming a Top 5 player of all-time.

 
At Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:33:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

LeBron is a great MVP candidate. In my PBN article I had him fifth with a "bullet" (a la the Billboard charts) and if I were writing the article today I very likely would put him even higher than that. He has really been on a tear recently. Still, I'd like to see him do some postseason damage before placing him in the top five all-time. For a large stretch of the season the Cavs played .500 ball when Larry Hughes was out. LeBron has a legit All-Star center in Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a quality (if inconsistent) power forward in Drew Gooden and during the season the Cavs added a guard--Flip Murray--who is better than any guard on the Lakers roster other than Kobe himself. Look at the Lakers roster. Lamar Odom is talented but has been an underachiever his whole career and has not been an All-Star even once. The next leading scorers on the team are Smush Parker, Chris Mihm, Brian Cook and Kwame Brown. Would any of those guys start or play heavy minutes for any other playoff team in either conference? The five leading Cavs' scorers after LeBron are Z, Hughes, Gooden, Murray and Donyell Marshall. The Cavs have much better talent than the Lakers yet they only have six more wins than the Lakers, who play in a much tougher conference--the eighth playoff team in the East will have a losing record and it's possible that the seventh and even the sixth will as well. LeBron's 31-7-6 is impressive but so is Kobe's 35+ ppg; no one has done that since Jordan, either.

 
At Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES KOBE SHOULD WIN MVP
HE IS WELL ON HIS WAY TO BEING THE NEXT MJ. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
HE'LL ALWAYS BE MVP I MY BOOK

 
At Thursday, April 13, 2006 1:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Kobe Bryant should be MVP. I understand why some of you think Kobe is a selfish player but thats not what he is trying to be. Think about it, Kobe is the reason why the Lakers are in playoff condition. When Kobe scored 81, the Lakers were on the verge of getting blown out. Kobe came through and made them win by making all those 81 points. Lamar Odom even said himself that he doesn't blame Kobe for being a ball hog sometimes because of the ablility to score and make some pretty tough, contested shots. Kobe's basketball skills has got him close to becoming the Most "valuable" player. Unfortunately, I don't think he will become MVP because of Steve Nash's chances. Oh yeah, to all those Kobe haters posting comments, you should think about this. You do NOT know what you're saying. Oh, and if anyone wants to say something about Steve Nash becoming MVP, come up and post it.

 
At Thursday, April 13, 2006 8:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KOBE HES MAH BOY HE DESERVES MVP FOR 2006 BECAUSE HES INCREDIBLE AND HE MOTIVATED ME INTO BASKETBALL SO HE SHOULD WIN IT.

 
At Thursday, April 13, 2006 2:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

42-37, 35ppg and after a disastorous 34-48 04-05 season. The thing that seperates Kobe from any other player in the NBA is his will. I can not name another player in the NBA that has gone through all the criticism that he has to go through ranging from Colorado incident, the controversial breakup of the Lakers, "he can't carry a team" to he takes to many shots he is a ballhog.It seems to me that now a days people are just so jealous that they must come up with some excuse to put the guy down. For all those that know a little about basketball will notice in the 1st quarter of all of their games, kobe feels his way into the game if he sees that his teammates are making there shots he is less assertive in the offense and will take his rightful shots in the second half. That why he leads the NBA in second half scoring by a margin of 6.4 points more than the runner-up. Now for the games that his teamates provide very little help those are the games where you will see him put up 50 or 60. People who say he is not a team player well, the team that he has to work with is pitiful. Tell me who besides me heard of smush parker before he started for the Lakers. Chris Mihm never started before he came to the Lakers. Kwame Brown has shown improvement byt has a long ways to go before people stop referreing to him as a bust. And with this all-star suppourting cast that he has, (and by the way Chris Mihm starting center is now hurt for season) has only gotten better as the season has progressed. To be 5 games over .500 in the seventh spot in the playoffs, what else can you ask from 1 man. Besides if you look at the games everyone on the defense knows where the ball is going yet they can only limit him to 35ppg on a AVERAGE NIGHT(i can't say that about Lebron, D-Wade or T-Mac because look at there suppourting casts then compare those to Kobe's).Look maybe he is not MVP, but without everyones B.S. excuses on why he is overrated, you guys need to stop lying to yourselves, not only is he clearly the dominite player in the NBA but he is now on a different level then anyone else he is now the best player in the game(and he knows it). I am the #1 Kobe fan in the world, and not only that I am the #1 NBA fan in the world and I think it is about time people START RESPECTING the man for his game.

 
At Thursday, April 13, 2006 5:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the 2006 NBA season is over some people will not remember who won the nba championship nor who will win the mvp if it is not Kobe Bryant. The man is carrying a lottery team to the playoffs and possibly more. His passion and dedication to play basketball surpass every basketball player today. Everyone needs to put behind his accusations and you will know who is the MVP of the season. We should also give credit to Lebron and Steve Nash but they can not compare there season to what Kobe did this season.

 
At Friday, April 14, 2006 1:44:00 AM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

I dont think Kobe deserves to be MVP. No, its not like because I dont like Kobe (I said he was the best player in the league when everyone was on the Nash-Wade lovefest), which I do, its because I feel its a 2 man race between LeBron and Nash.

Back to Kobe first.I respect Kobe's scoring performances, but the main reason I can't see Kobe winning the award is because it seems to me people are going off his team is terrible and his 2 great games. Yes Kobe is scoring over 35 points a game, but I feel a player on an 8th placed team in his conference has no business in mvp conversation. If this is the case, lets give Chris Paul some votes too. He's just as important to the Hornets worse than the Lakers.

As for my MVP candidates, I choose LeBron for one simple reason he doesn't player with a top 10 player in Shawn Marion every night. The Cavs free agent pickups have been down right awful. Damon Jones, bust. Larry Hughes, been hurt most of the year, and Donyell Marshall has been brutal. LeBron doesn't trust the guys around him in the end, but he still relies on those guys to win.

"Lamar Odom is talented but has been an underachiever his whole career"

The guy that was in Miami wasn't an underachiever. He doesn't fit with Kobe like he did with Wade and the guy who did (Caron Butler) was traded away.

My final MVP order:
1. LeBron James, Cle
2. Steve Nash, Pho
3. Dwyane Wade, Mia
4. Chauncey Billups, Det
5.(tie) Jason Kidd, NJ
5.(tie) Dirk Nowitzki, Dal
5. (tie) Kobe Bryant, LAL

 
At Friday, April 14, 2006 3:50:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Jimmy, you make some good points, but I disagree with you in a few areas. I didn't pick Kobe solely on the basis of his two great games but, on the other hand, having the second best scoring performance in NBA history (81 points versus Toronto) and outscoring the possible number one seed in the West for the first three quarters of a game (61-60 versus Dallas; Kobe didn't play in the fourth as the Lakers won in a rout or he very well might have topped 80 in that one as well) are two very impressive feats. Kobe's 35 ppg average for an entire season cannot be dismissed lightly because, as I point out in my PBN article, this has been done very few times in the history of the NBA and on every occasion but one the players who did this finished in the top five in MVP voting. A case can be made for several MVP candidates but I cannot see a case being made for Kobe not finishing in the top five (you have him there--barely). I agree that Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall have been disappointing so far but Hughes played very well before he got hurt and is returning in time for the playoffs. Don't forget Flip Murray, who may be the best mid-season pickup this year. LeBron has a legit All-Star center in Ilgauskas. Yet the Cavs only have a few more wins than the Lakers despite playing in a weaker conference. You can't just look at the Cavs being a "four" and the Lakers being a "seven"; if those teams flipped conferences their seeds would be different (right now, the Lakers would be a "five" in the East and the Cavs would be a "five" in the West). As for Odom, I stand by what I said. You are correct that he had his best season in Miami but, for a 6-10 mulit-talented player he has been an underachiever. With his talent he should be a perennial All-Star but he doesn't bring it every night. There are plenty of opportunities for him to be productive in the Triangle Offense and the additional defensive attention that Kobe draws should be helping him. Odom is not going to be double-teamed when Kobe is on the court, so he should have a field day in the post or on the offensive glass or driving from the top of the key--and he does, every fifth or tenth game when he brings the level of intensity that Kobe has every night. LeBron and Nash are fine choices and I would not have a serious beef with either player winning MVP but, by the criteria that I listed in my PBN article, I firmly believe that Kobe is the best player in the game today and the one most worthy of MVP honors.

 
At Friday, April 14, 2006 4:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out the argument today (4/14)on ESPN.com regarding Kobe for MVP. Makes some good points. I can't believe people hate on him SO MUCH. He can assist (and does that in spectacular fashion as well). I'm surprised he can get 4.X assists/game with all the scoring he does. He's the most talented player in the NBA if that has any bearing on the MVP vote. He's got the best fadeaway "since God" to quote some sportswriter who's name I've forgotten. I hope in "private voting", the people who mail in their MVP ballots won't have to appeal to the crowd and not choose Kobe because he's not popular - it's not even popular to side with him without admitting that you're "hesistant" about it (although other players are deserving of MVP as well).

 
At Friday, April 14, 2006 11:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cavs are 6 games up on the lakers.... thats quite a bit

 
At Saturday, April 15, 2006 6:04:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

The Cavs are 16-14 versus Western Conference teams, while the Lakers are 25-25 versus the West. The West is a much stronger conference this year, as I pointed out in a previous reply. The Cavs are 32-17 versus the East, while the Lakers are 18-12 versus the East. So the Cavs are slightly above .500 versus the West and .653 versus the East; the Lakers are .500 versus the West and .600 versus the West (two of the losses came to Utah when Kobe was suspended). The records suggest that if the Cavs and Lakers were in the same conference that they would have very similar records. That's why this whole business about LeBron being a better MVP candidate than Kobe because the Cavs are a four seed and the Lakers are a seven seed is bogus. It's really a shame that even some of the people who are voting on the award have bought into this; Ernie Johnson of TNT said that he wouldn't vote for Kobe because the Lakers are a seven seed, completely ignoring that the West is a much stronger conference. I don't have a problem with someone voting for LeBron or Nash, but he should at least have a legitimate reason.

I did check out the ESPN.com stuff about Kobe; Bill Simmons seems to have "borrowed" the criteria I used in my PBN article--which NBA player would you pick if you lined everyone up schoolyard style--and selected the same player I did: Kobe Bryant.

 
At Sunday, April 16, 2006 4:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People, People, it's a simple choice. What does MVP mean literally? MOST VALUABLE PLAYER! Who is the most valuable player to his team this year? Remove each candidate from their respective teams and which team would DECLINE the most? Who is most valuable to their team??? I think everyone of you know the answer to that question and that's the only question that matters. Taking a quote from my man Stephen A. Smith "With all of that said" my choice is clearly, "Drum roll please"......... K.O.B.E.

 
At Sunday, April 16, 2006 1:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KOBE IS MVP, REGARDLESS. I'M TIRED OF PEOPLE HATING HIM. JORDAN CHEATED ON HIS WIFE, PEOPLE ADORE HIM, KOBE CHEATS, HE GETS NO LOVE,LIKE HIS COMMERCIAL, LOVE HIM OR HATE HIM, SUMS UP HIS FUTURE. TAKE KOBE OUT OF THIS TEAM, AND WE WOULD NOT WIN MORE THAN 25 GAMES, LEBRON JAMES HAS BETTER TEAMMATES AROUND HIM, ILGAUSKAS, FLIP MURRAY, GOODEN, HUGHES, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?!!! THE LAKERS ARE ALSO LEARNING THE TRIANGLE, WHICH IF ANY OF YOU KOBE HATERS PLAYED BASKETBALL,(NONE OF YOU) IS THE MOST COMPLEX OFFENSE EVER! IT TAKES TIME TO LEARN! CLEVELAND IS IN THE EAST, YOU CAN HAVE A LOSING RECORD AND MAKE THE PLAYOFFS, THAT'S BS!!! BELIEVE ME LAKERS IN THE EAST, 5TH SPOT, AT LEAST!!!!! CLEVELAND WOULD BE JUST WHERE THE KINGS ARE AT 8TH!
AND FINALLY, DOESNT MVP STAND FOR MOST VALUABLE PLAYER? AND WHO IS THE MOST VALUABLE TO HIS TEAM?
DWAYNE WADE IS IN THE EAST AND HAS SHAQ LIKE KOBE DID, LETS PUT HIM IN KOBE'S SITUATION, CARMELO IS A JOKE, HIS TEAM IS UNDERACHIEVING, HE THINKS HE'S MORE CLUTCH, HE GETS OWNED BY KOBE ANYDAY. THE ONLY CANDIDATE CLOSE TO KOBE BRYANT IS STEVE NASH. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT THE LAKER FUTURE, JUST LOOK AT THE 90s BULLS WHOM THEY WERE MODELED AFTER. 6 CHAMPIONSHIPS.ENOUGH SAID.
K........O........B.......E!!!!

 
At Sunday, April 16, 2006 6:05:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

Wow the last poster has must bleed Laker purple and gold.

First off Simmons has used that pickup criteria before. Second this quote made me laugh, "I hope in "private voting", the people who mail in their MVP ballots won't have to appeal to the crowd and not choose Kobe because he's not popular". This is one of the biggest lies I've read or heard so far.

Kobe is the people's favorite practically everywhere, with LeBron, Billups, Nash and Dirk with votes as well.

Also as far at the East vs West conference I dont think the West is not that much tougher than the East. Does Kobe play in a divison where every team made the playoffs? Also the East is getting better year by year. I got a feeling Kevin Garnett will be there to see it for himself next year, but that's another arguement.

I just refuse to say like most people on here that Kobe is doing it all when Odom leads the team in assists, rebounds, and blocks. I could see Kobe winning if his stats and leadership greater than everyone else's in comparison, but they aren't. You have guys that are almost scoring as much as he is night in and night out and yet are doing more for their team.

In the end it depends on what your definition of MVP is. If its the most valuable player on the best team, its Billups. If its having the most to overcome and having a great record, its Nowitzki. If your talking about best player in the league, its Kobe. If its the "Tom Brady effect", Duncan, Kidd or Nash.

For me the MVP is LeBron. Yes, you can tell me the Cavs were .500 without Hughes, but you have to look at the team before the Flip Murrary trade. The starting lineup was Damon Jones, Eric Snow, Lebron, Gooden, and Big Z. Please tell me has Kobe played with a crappier lineup than that? Kobe will win a MVP in the next 1-3 years, this year should be LeBrons year.

No its not me or other people hating when we dont pick Kobe for MVP. Its called having a opinion.

 
At Monday, April 17, 2006 5:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, why must kobe wait 1-3 years to win a MVP? Wouldnt it make more sense for Lebron to win a MVP in 1-3 years? It's kinda dumb, but people always bring in his accusation into MVP talk. I mean seriously, what does that have to do with it? And MVP isnt about being popular. So basketball alone, kobe is the MVP.

 
At Monday, April 17, 2006 5:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, why must kobe wait 1-3 years to win a MVP? Wouldnt it make more sense for Lebron to win a MVP in 1-3 years? It's kinda dumb, but people always bring in his accusation into MVP talk. I mean seriously, what does that have to do with it? And MVP isnt about being popular. So basketball alone, kobe is the MVP.

 
At Monday, April 17, 2006 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Switch Kobe and Nash in their respective places and see which team would do better. I can gurantee you Kobe-Marion combo is good enough to win the pacific division and maybe even contenders. But Nash on the lakers would probably be 9-12 seed in the west.

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(to the last post) I would like to disagree cause thats what people said about nash when he was picked up by the suns an guess what the suns won the leagues best record an it didnt hurt that he elevated the game of stat Qrich jojo an marion to anouther level no to in which where career seasons four them same thing this give nash eight new players an 6 of them walk out with career years plus marion toped last year i gurantee Kobe will never pull that of just like the lakers wont beat the suns this year in the post-season.an please dont confuse me im not no suns mark im a nets fan myself but doo think nash deserves the mvp this year playing on the suns when the franchise player was out for 77 an the replacemt sat their with him for half that time, plus let me ask you when news started floating around wat seed did u see the suns in cause if i remeber clearly the media was letting us know the suns an lakers should of been fighting for the eigth seed seems like the lakers stayed in place an the suns progressed.

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you call the Lakers without Kobe?

Answer: The Knicks

-Chris Rock


If Kobe can get that Laker team to the playoffs, he's the MVP. He's made his teammates better. Smush Parker and Kwame Brown are actually starting to look like legitimate players. Luke Walton gets to shoot open jumpers all day like its practice because of Kobe. Lamar Odom has to just pass it to Kobe 10 times and he's already at 10 assists. I mean, Kobe does it all ladies and gentlemen. Leads a crappy team to the playoffs, save's Kwame Brown's career, makes a playground street baller look like a decent hardwood point guard, scores 81, outscores an entire team by himself through 3 quarters, has the ONLY team that has beaten dallas twice, detroit, Miami and San Antonio, AND he makes it look easy. MVP is Kobe

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 6:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW how can you even think about this of course KOBE should get MVP. 1st of all Steve Nash has Sean Marion who is also cosidered an MVp canndinate, and rogo bell. Lebron has so many veterans on his team like olgoliks and others. Kobe has NOBODY!!!!!!!!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYER you see it says player not team player with out a dout KOBE will forever be MVP and even if he doesn't win he knows he is the best that ever ever lived. and to all the kobe haters you are just jealous and don't know anything about basketball. KOBE FOR MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can Kobe not be MVP. I saw every LAKERS game this year and I see all the fenominal things he does for the Lakers, but most of all I see Kobe go out there and put his heart and soul in every game and the teamates have no heart or soul until like a month ago, but he never gives up and brought them to the playoffs and has been an outstanding leader this year. HE has gotten so abused this year by the players always triple teaming him and officials not calling anything when he does and he still maniges to average 35.1 points a game what more do you need. Lebron James the only reason people consider him is cause of his dunks ok when Kobe was younger he did the same thing Labron can't finish games when there on the line and make free throws when the games on the line man he is just to overraded. He also has better players on his team more ex[erianced players. Steve Nash has another MVP candinate/ All Star on his tea Sean Marrion and also has Roja Bell they all had there best years this year so can't hold one perso responsible for there talent
I mean its so ovious. SO to all the people that can vote for MVP the smart and oly choice is KOBE! 81 points baby. OH yah Kobe isn't a ballhog ok it is just everytime he passes wich is alot they always miss ok. KOBE= MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TheBron is the MVP over kobe any day. Lets take a closer look at the stats.
Kobe 35pts. + 4ast. = min. of 43pts. for his team a night. 44%fg
LBJ 31pts. + 7ast. = min. of 45pts. for his team a night. 48%fg

LeBron is the better player. Plus somrthing about Kobe that most people don't remember.
Remember when Kobe committed a flagrent foul on Mike Miller and the Grizz. Well Miller made his two freethrows and the Lakers lost that game by one. Then Kobe was suspended two games for that foul, and the Lakers lost both of them. So Kobe lost 3 games for his team. Thats three games that the Lakers could have won, and the Lakers would be a 5 seed in sted they are a 7 seed. Thanks to golden boy Bryant the Lakers will now be out of the playoffs a little early.

Another thing, Anybody who is saying that Kobe is the next Jordan. SHUT UP. They are two completely diffrent brands of players. Jordan made everybody around him better, and he is the greatest that ever played the game. Kobe is a great scorer and great player, but he would rather be shooting the ball every time down the court than getting teamates involved. Kobe will NEVER be as good as Jordan.

By the way 81 pts. isn't that hard when you get to the line 22 times and attempt 46 shots. Plus when you play Toronto

LeBron James is the MVP. 31pts, 7ast, 7reb.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did check out the ESPN.com stuff about Kobe; Bill Simmons seems to have "borrowed" the criteria I used in my PBN article--which NBA player would you pick if you lined everyone up schoolyard style--and selected the same player I did: Kobe Bryant.

******

Simmons used the exact same criteria in his 2005 MVP column. Looks like you "borrowed" from him.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:27:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

The Miller situation is interesting. The Cavs had a similar situation when Rasheed hit Ilgauskas upside the head and blood came gushing out. No one on the Cavs did anything in retaliation and the Cavs lost meekly in that game and lost meekly again when they played Detroit shortly thereafter (Ilgauskas kind of shoved Sheed in that game, but it was pretty weak). As I wrote at the time, I don't think that someone should have punched Sheed or tried to injure him but Ilgauskas or someone should have committed a hard foul or done something to show that you can't just push the Cavs around. Where was LeBron when Z was getting clobbered? If someone did something to anyone on the Bulls, Michael Jordan was right in that person's face (think of Xavier McDaniel versus Pippen when Pippen was a young player). Kobe went over the line with what he did to Miller but his instincts were right to not let someone just take a potshot at him. Since you say that his suspension cost the Lakers two games then you are admitting that the Lakers in fact cannot win without him, even against a mediocre at best Utah team.

As I have pointed out, the Lakers and Cavs have virtually identical winning percentages versus each conference but the Lakers had to play a lot more games against the stronger Western teams. I don't see how anyone can make the case that Kobe has a better supporting cast than LeBron. LeBron has an All-Star caliber center, a legitimate post presence who he can pass the ball to night after night. Kobe has Chris Mihm (currently injured) and Kwame Brown. LeBron has legit NBA players such as Larry Hughes, Flip Murray, Drew Gooden, Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones. The latter two have been a little inconsistent, but they have played significant minutes for playoff teams in the past. Marshall can rebound and shoot the three. Anderson Varejao provides a lot of energy. Lamar Odom shows flashes of ability but after him the Lakers' roster looks like it belongs in the NBDL--and having Odom is not better than having Z, Gooden, Hughes, etc. I'd rather have a solid, deep team than one guy who is talented but hardly dominant. The Chris Rock quote is right on--without Kobe, the Lakers would be the Knicks.

I am flabbergasted when anyone tries to downplay Kobe's 81 point game. If that is so easy to do how come no one other than Wilt Chamberlain has done it in the history of the league? Kobe shot 46 times but he made over half his shots. Check out my Austin Carr article or my Kobe Bryant article from last year and read the quotes from Carr and Fred Carter if you think that anyone can get off 46 shots in a game. Anyway, would you prefer to watch Kwame fumble the ball out of bounds or miss three foot shots? Kobe shot so many free throws because he drove to the basket and drew fouls. He singlehandedly carried his team from a huge deficit to a win. Honestly, it was the most remarkable basketball performance that I have ever seen. There have been more significant games that featured great individual performances, in the Finals or in the playoffs, but I have never seen anything like what Kobe did. He was unstoppable and at the end of the game he didn't even seem tired. He also outscored Dallas, the team with the second best record in the West, for the first three quarters of a game. Think about that for a minute. LeBron is great, Nash is great, but Kobe is unreal.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:35:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I honestly did not see Simmons' 2005 column. When I said that he "borrowed" from me I meant that tongue in cheek because my article came out just a couple weeks before his did. That's why I put "borrowed" in quotation marks. I didn't literally mean that he took this idea from me; I don't even claim that it is an original idea with me, merely one that makes the most sense to me since the NBA does not provide a set criteria for selecting the MVP. I like another thing that Simmons wrote, that Kobe Bryant's scoring exploits are what we are most likely to remember about this season 10 years from now. Unless something off the wall happens in the playoffs like the Clippers winning the NBA title, 2006 will always be remembered as the year that Kobe was unstoppable, whether or not he wins the MVP.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:00:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So lets get this straight....Lebron James should get MVP because he is averaging 31pts 7rebs and 6ast with a 49 win team in a eastern conference that has 4 teams with a record worst than the Lakers and 3 teams qualifying for the playoffs with a below .500 record, a team that has an all-star caliber centre and all-star caliber gaurd (Larry Hughes), the 5th best 3pt shooter in 04-05 season (Damon Jones), competent players in both Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall, and also the fact that they are seeded higher in their conference than the Lakers are seeded in theirs?

So is it safe to say that in 2003 when Kobe averaged 30pts 6ast 7rebs 2.2stl and Tim Duncan averaged 23pts and 13rebs that Kobe was deserving of the MVP trophy because of his prettier stats sheet?

The acronym MVP equates to "Most VALUABLE Player". The word Valuable by definition means "Of great importance, use, or service". Ask yourselves who is more VALUABLE to the League than Kobe Bryant? Who is more Valuable to their team than Kobe Bryant? (Kobe is responsible for 36% of his teams points this season, i can bet thats the highest in the NBA, Lebron is at 31%). This question was asked on the ESPN article: "When looking back on this season, which player will teh majority most likely remember?". This is indeed an important question, as it highlights how 1 player stood out among other stellar performances,which like it or not indicates value to fans of the sport.

People constantly disregard the whole whose-team-is-better discussion, saying that shouldnt be a factor. Well consider this, if it isnt a factor, then hands down the award should go to Chauncey Billups, if it is a factor then the clear choice is Kobe Bryant.

Its either one end of the spectrum or the other end. There is no in-between. Kobe or Chauncey?

My choice as you probably guessed, is Kobe Bryant, the guy who single handedly made NBA fans anxiously want to see what was next. He was the the one that made NBA fans check the ESPN headlines the first thing in the morning to see if history was again altered. He is the one that has a drive that no one else in the NBA can match, the drive that tells him never ever to quit. That in itself is the Most Valuable characteristic that one can possess and pass on to others.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which leads to another definition of VALUABLE:

"Having admirable or esteemed qualities or characteristics"

Coincidence? I think not.

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shudder at the thought of not giving Kobe the MVP award this season. The man has broken all records this season! No assist? Last time I checked, an assist is given if the player at the receiving end scores. Kobe has no such teammate who finishes. Replace Kobe in that Laker team with a decent player in his position & the Lakers would most likely end with 20 wins. He carried this mediocre team into the playoffs. HE IS THE MVP, no doubt about it!!!

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe deserves MVP for sure. He is definitely famous. Whether u like him or hate him, when u think of NBA, u think of Kobe. Just like in the 90s, MJ represented NBA. This year race is between Lebron and Kobe. Yea, for sure Lebron has more rebounds and assists. What's Lebron's position? I am sure it is easier for a small forward to grab rebound than a guard does. If you put Lebron to the Lakers with only Odom to be the other decent scorer, I bet Lebron will have only 3 to 4 apg too. Someone said scoring 81 is not hard. WTF!! even MJ couldn't do it before when the other Bulls players were sucking and MJ is the only scorer. At least u need a crazy amount of energy to put up that a lot of shots in a game and most of the shots can't be blocked. Nash doesn't even worth to be mentioned. He got a all-star with him. Just one question, will a MVP score 0 pt in a game?!! NASH did! Also, Nash's defense sucks...how can the opp team avg score over 110 pts per game in their last 10 games?

On the other hand, Kobe is the only factor to make his team into the playoff. As someone mentioned b4, without Kobe, Lakers is called knicks, even knicks have someone called Marbury and Francis.......so KOBE is the MVP!!

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay kobe can get some votes for mvp but lebron is right there no one in the history of nba has had to carry an entire city and nba franchise. if he had some true players on his team he would defintely average over 10 assists a game and he can and will be the next to easily average 35 7 7. plus his teamates like him. lebron can score at will but he has this bad habit of including teamates in the game.The most vauable player wouldn't be traded for anyone

 
At Wednesday, April 19, 2006 5:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at the list of two time or more MVPs, Nash shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence as them. That just shows how ridiculous it would be for Nash to win another MVP. So this should narrow down the Leborn vs Kobe. Lakers and Cavs records are basiclly identifical considering their respective records vs the two conferences. And the lakers are playing in the toughest division in the league with four teams making the playoffs. Cavs' division also has four playoff teams, but the other two are hovering around 0.500. Not to mention Lebron has an all-star center and great guard in Hughes. THerefore, Kobe should edge out Lebron for the 2006 MVP.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:11:00 AM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

"So is it safe to say that in 2003 when Kobe averaged 30pts 6ast 7rebs 2.2stl and Tim Duncan averaged 23pts and 13rebs that Kobe was deserving of the MVP trophy because of his prettier stats sheet?"

Wasn't Kobe playing with some guy named Shaquille O'Neal that was averaging 27 points 11 rebounds and 2 blocks a game? So that arguement already loses steam.

"So lets get this straight....Lebron James should get MVP because he is averaging 31pts 7rebs and 6ast with a 49 win team in a eastern conference that has 4 teams with a record worst than the Lakers and 3 teams qualifying for the playoffs with a below .500 record, a team that has an all-star caliber centre and all-star caliber gaurd (Larry Hughes), the 5th best 3pt shooter in 04-05 season (Damon Jones), competent players in both Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall, and also the fact that they are seeded higher in their conference than the Lakers are seeded in theirs?"

Already answered this before. Hughes has missed nearly half the season, Damon Jones was an absolute bust (I bet he misses Miami right now), donyell marshall was a waste of money, big z isn't as good as he was the year before, gooden has been up and down the whole season.

I'll say it once and will say it again, I'd rather have Odom over anybody on the Cavs other than Lebron. People are acting as if Odom isn't doing anything just because he isn't scoring. The guy just had back to back triple doubles, but hell I guess Kobe doesn't have help like the whole world thinks.


Kobe will get an mvp when the lakers win more games, I just dont think its this year.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy, stating lamar's triple doubles just shows how you are focusing on his success recently. If you have followed the lakers the ENTIRE season, most ppl realize lamar disappears as often as he produces. There is no doubt that Lamar has been playing well for the last 10 games. But how about the other 72 games? Moreover, people tend to forget we have been playing without our starting center for the month of april and 45 wins far exceeds any expectations for the lakers this year. In fact, we had less talent this year compare to last year's roster. 11 more wins is a huge improvement.

Remember that stretch when the Cavs were struggling after the all-star game? Compare to when they had Hughes, it was obvious Lebron needed some help for awhile. Besides, Lebron still has an all-star center with him, just like Nash has an all-star forward in Marion. Kobe had no all-stars whatsoever and 45 wins. Thats far more impressive than the 50 wins of cavs and 54 wins of Suns.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 5:49:00 AM, Anonymous wiwaman said...

There is no reason why 2006 season couldn't be any worse than 2005 season for the LA Lakers. There are no veterans to turn to, no Superpower Center, and no Showtime equivalent arsenals. Compared themselves with the 2006 opponents, Lakers has only Kobe, but most of their opponents have equivalent to two superstars in their lineups. Not to mention, many teams have good supporting casts also. Lakers don’t even have one. The rest of the lineups are inconsistent at best. You can call it Mission Impossible for the Lakers to even win half of the games, and worse still, they have to climb Mount Everest in order to qualify for the Playoff, and not even .500 records could cut it. With all these factors in mind, Kobe single-handedly fires the Lakers into the playoff. He does it on both ends of the floor, day in day out. That’s bloody incredible. Without him, Lakers looks more like a NBA Development League team. Try to substitute Kobe with any other MVP contenders into the Lakers line-up; the team may not even be a .400 team at the end of the season. To become the Most Valuable Player in the league, I believe in overall leadership and consistency. Just check out Kobe overall performance, when the Lakers needs to win, and nobody can get into rhythms, he provides whatever that are missing. In terms of scoring, he will put up whatever it’s needed, no matter how many bodies have been piled up against him. Most great players brings in about mid-20s in the scoring category, Kobe will help the Lakers by putting up 40s and 50s or even a ass-whipping 81 points in order to try to get the job done. In terms of defense, Kobe demonstrates his ability to put up great defensive walls against all his match-ups, giving them no room to breathe. There are many awesome players in the league, but no one process the versatility of Kobe, and no one can own the floor like KB did this season. Kobe Bryant is definitely MVP, may be they should also call him the most unbelievable MVP in 2006.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 2:41:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

"Besides, Lebron still has an all-star center with him, just like Nash has an all-star forward in Marion. Kobe had no all-stars whatsoever and 45 wins. Thats far more impressive than the 50 wins of cavs and 54 wins of Suns."

See if we go on this then Kobe sure as hell wouldn't be the MVP. That would be Dirk since he's playing with 0 all-stars and he's had to deal with a starting lineup that's played together 13 times this year, stackhouse, keith van horn, josh howard, devin harris, and a host of others have missed more than 10 games with injury. This team still won 60 games.

Also, the Lakers played better without Mihm. Kwame Brown is playing his best ball ever as the starting center.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 4:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Also, the Lakers played better without Mihm. Kwame Brown is playing his best ball ever as the starting center."

Nice, someone figure out that kobe can make his teammates better :)

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous G Finley said...

Whether you like him or not, facts are facts. He is the best basketball player today and possibly ever. Put your biases and sideways judgements away and give Kobe the recognition he deserves. I'm sick of so called basketball fans who's judgement is clouded by Kobe's personal life. This is basketball people, not a soap opera. If Kobe mangaged to put his personal business aside and play with his heart and soul, we should do the same when voting for our MVP. Grow up already

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 3:58:00 AM, Anonymous Awura said...

I cannot believe that there is even a discussion is to who should win the MVP. What Kobe has done this season is unheard of. He has broken down record upon records. And not only did he led the league in score, but he also was the only player who made history more than 3 times. When you look at his skills nobody is better than him. He is better than James and Narsh. When Jason Kid was playing at the hightest level and led the Nets to NBA finals body said he should win the MVP awards. To me Kid was and is far superior player than Nash is. Why is race still blind people to do the right thing. You can not put Kobe and Nash in the same level. Kobe is way up there. He is the most valuable player by far.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 4:10:00 AM, Anonymous Awura said...

America is so racist it sad. When you look back in history the most valuable player award had been given to super stars. Steve Nash is a fine player but not a talented player like Kobe. Few years ago Jason Kidd went to a team that was more horible than the Suns when Nash went there. Kidd took the Nets to NBA finals but even then I did not hear people say he should win the MVP award. This year is Kobe's year not Nash, not James do the right thing and give it to Kobe the best and most valuable player. Period. Nash won last year he should not win again because he is white. Yes it is about race.If Kobe was white there would not be any discussion he will win hands down.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 1:34:00 PM, Blogger the truth said...

Koby is not a bad player he's doing what he have to do to get to the end.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 1:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok i want to respond to the stupid who said that scoring 81 points agains a team like toronto is easy first you should whatch more basketball cause you dont know what you saying i havent see nobody scoring 80 points since chamberlaint and am there been worst defensive teams than toronto in the last 40 years this guy is the best player in the game he is unstople is time you haters undestand that forget about everyone else he is the mvp

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 3:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its ridiculous how alot of people wouldnt even have kobe on the Top 3 mvp ballot. That is just unbelieveable. Its kinda dumb, but if Kobe scored 81 points near the end of the season, he would be getting all the MVP votes. It feels like people have forgot his 81 points performance...

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 7:50:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

"Nice, someone figure out that kobe can make his teammates better :)"

People dont think Kobe can make his teammates better, but like Jordan and other big stars in the past will he "trust" them to make plays.

awura, i think you enjoyed 4/20 too much. just say no to drugs. Jason Kidd's team went from a 26-56 record to a 52-30 (win 26 increase) record while Nash's Suns went from a 29-53 record to 62-20 record (33 win increase). The Suns had the best record last year as well.

I dont think it was racism that won Nash the award, I think it was more about the competition he was up aganist (Shaq in Miami). While Kidd was up aganist Duncan and Shaq, whose teams had better records. If you dont think records mean something to the voters then your crazy.

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous KOBE FOR LIFE said...

Ok now people say Nash should get MVP, but first of all he aint that good and the only reson he is considered is because of his teams record and I thought MVP stud for Most valuable player and just becausr stodimire is out yah he is but all of the other suns are haveing the best career seasons of there lives like bell ans sean marinon who is also considered as MVP so you can't put a teams sucsess on one guy it would be unfair this isn't about a team it's about an individule player and thats why KOBE should get it because he made his teamates better and they just all sucked in the begining of the season and just started playing better the last 12 games or so. KOBE has broken so many records got his team to the playoffs carried them there when everyone doudted them got his defense so much better all them steals he is getting and was such a good leader Kobe just deserves it more then anyone best ever and if he aint MVP of this league then I don't know which league he belongs to or are these people just crazy(Chareles Barkley) aka KOBE HATER!good thing he doesn't get to vote. YOu know kobe just brought and everytime you watched sports center kobe was breaking a new record. HE has boosted this young lakers team confidece up so so much and kobe just deserves it. KOBE FOR MVP MVP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:14:00 PM, Anonymous KOBE FOR LIFE said...

Last year nash deserved the MVP but this year it so so belongs to kobe. The unfair thing is the other candinants say they should get it and all, but Kobe knows if it was up to the fans and all he'd get it but sense its up to these broadcasters and writers and what not he might not get it cause you either hate him or lve him and most hate him so that might be a factor and how he is always compared to MJ sometimes gets under there skins so kobe knows he might not get it but also know he deserves more then anyone and when they announce the MVP and if he doesn't get it I would deffinitley have to watch the next game the Lakers will play I'm thinking 100 points kobe is going to be pist off so you know do the right and smart thing KOBE IS MVP

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE KOBE FOREEVER MAN SO MUCH KOBE WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST THAT EVER LIVED.
KOBE FOR MVP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 10:47:00 PM, Anonymous Nba said...

You people are not very bright, you think that kobe just because he scores 81 points he should be MVP, .get real, Lebron James is the MVP period.LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ LBJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At Sunday, April 23, 2006 12:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's obvious kobe for MVP. 1 career high in points, 62 and then a month later a new career high in points, 81[second highest in NBA]. Anyone who doesn't vote for him is an idiot. Christian D.

 
At Sunday, April 23, 2006 12:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chauncy,Elton,LeBron,Dwane,Steve,and Dirk suck. Idiots would vote for them.

 
At Sunday, April 23, 2006 6:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

where was kobe today? his team looked good enough to stay right with the suns even while he totally sucked ass, lebron just got a triple double too and obviously the cavs can do a lot more damage in the playoffs. lebron wins mvp and awura is a complete idiot for even bringing up racsism as part of the mvp voting.... who won it before Nash? Keven Garnett who happens to be black

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 1:33:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

LeBron's performance was nothing short of remarkable. I saw it in person and wrote about it in my most recent 20 Second Timeout post (http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.com/2006/04/king-james-reigns-supreme-in-his.html). It was truly a playoff debut of historic proportions, particularly if he sustains a high level of productivity in the subsequent games.

Kobe actually did today what so many of his critics ask him to do--take fewer shots and defer to his teammates. Since he was not looking for his shot early in the shot clock, he ended up with even more "hand grenades" (being forced to shoot because he received the ball with the shot clock winding down) than usual; he mentioned in the postgame interviews that his percentage today was affected by taking some shots with the clock poised against him.

Those who criticized Kobe all year long for shooting too much cannot now criticize him for sticking with Phil Jackson's game plan, which called for heavy doses of Odom and Brown on the block. This strategy did keep the game close and if Tim Thomas had been called for a foul on Kobe's drive near the end (did you see the knot on Kobe's head after the play?) the Lakers may very well have won (assuming Kobe hits the FTs they would have needed one stop and one score and would not have had to foul the Suns). The only part of Kobe's game that was subpar was his shooting percentage. He took good shots, but simply missed some. Even LeBron did not shoot a great percentage in his game; shooting percentages do tend to go down in the playoffs. Kobe's floor game (rebounding, passing, defending) was excellent against the Suns, as usual. If the Lakers play the same way in Game 2 they have an excellent chance of winning the game, because they will shoot a better percentage and Tim Thomas is unlikely to duplicate his game one performance.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 2:29:00 AM, Blogger lakerfam said...

Greatest Player Of all Time
Not only is Kobe the MVP this year, he's gonna go down in history as the greatest of all time.

If Kobe had an inside presence such as Ilgauskas, and a scorer/slasher like a flip murray in

exchange for Kwame Brown and Devean George, then the lakers would have won atleast

another 15 games during the regular season. That would have brought them to 60 wins on the

season. After that there would be no talk of who should be the MVP, it would be is KOBE the

G.O.A.T? (greatest of all time). And after that laker team won the title (kobe's fourth, 1st

without shaq or any other dominant player) Michael Jordan himself would come down during

the celebration and ask to give the title of G.O.A.T to kobe.

When the lakers put 2 other solid role players around kobe, he should get another two titles. If

they put someone as great as Scottie Pippen, then he'll get another 4-5.

If he doesn't win the MVP this year it doesn't matter. He's the best and most feared of all time.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 3:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kobe stuck to the game plan till the very end, which was most impressive. There is no doubt he can play team ball, but its frustrating for a laker fan to watch Kwame just miss layups throughout the game. I mean, seriously, we missed way too many layups.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 4:38:00 AM, Blogger kobe81 said...

Kobe is the best nba player this season. In our country, if you'll ask someone to choose between kobe and the other mvp candidates most of the time they'll choose kobe. Coz he's very popular even a 3 yr-old could recognize him...
And many experts compare him with MJ!

If Kobe and the lakers win 2-3 or even atleast 1 more title, he'll become the greatest nba player of the new millenium's 1st decade...

LBJ is very talented, he has become greater. But I think that he got all his motivation to become better because of Kobe, his idol!!!
And I think LBJ only learned to shoot outside after watching Bryant's beautiful fadeaway jumpshot. His forte, the shot that denies every defense, the shot that makes the crowd go wild...

Look at LBJ, he's trying hard to shoot fadeaway jumpshots but he looks like someone rapelling...he looks silly when he shoots a jumper...

KOBE BRYANT IS THE BEST! FAR BETTER THAN LEBRON.......


"KOBE BRYANT IS MICHAEL JORDAN REINCARNATED!"

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 11:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just want to say...whenever lebron passes to snow, murray,Ilgauskas, they will score when they are open. Whenever kobe passes to brown, parker, cook, george, they won't score even they are open.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 1:58:00 PM, Anonymous KOBE FOR LIFE said...

Just because Lebron made a 3 double and the cavs won and kobe had 22 points and lakers lost by 5 points only because when kobe tried to tie it he got knocked in the head and eye and missed and didn't get a foul called what does that tell you that Kobe trusts his teamates now and has made tham better before they couldn't even win Toronto when Kobe wasn't 100% so there is one of the meanings of MVP MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OK NOT MOST VALUABLE TEAM ok in that case Detroit would of got it and MVP clearly goes to KOBE #8 Lord of the Rings MR. 81 so be smart and give it to Kobe.

Kobe as you can see I think deserves it but he aint going to get it because there is alot of Kobe Haters out there so he know he aint going to get it so it don't matter cause he knows he is the best NEXT year his team will probably win 62 games and he still won't get it they'll give it to steve Nash and his ugly hair and old self.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 5:43:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

Love the Lakers game plan yesterday. They know they dont want to play run and gun with the Suns they tried to slow it down giving the ball to Kwame and Odom. Walton showed he is one of the keys to the Lakers advancing.

Kobe has player to get the ball to, quiet that crap. They have to find a way for Kobe to get going and get the rest of the team involved.

I liked that I saw the Lakers Sunday and not Kobe and 4 other guys.

 
At Monday, April 24, 2006 6:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i personally think that kobe is the best player that ever lived. I'd like to know why officials don't call fouls on kobe any more after he made 81 points he hasn't been getting any I mean any calls thats why he has so many technical fouls cause he is so pist like today I heard Ron Artest was suspended for hitting genoble in the jaw for 1 day when Kobe did it against one of the Mephis Grizzlies players he got suspended for 2 days so what now. and when he gets hit in the jaw sctatched in the face and starts bleeding gets knocked down that isn't a foul ok that is really smart?????????

 
At Tuesday, April 25, 2006 5:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'd have to say kobe..most valuable player differs in definition but most refer to it as one being the most crucial instrument to the success of a team..put an okae guard on the pistons..their still a playoff team..scratch out chauncy..dirk is a great player..i respect him a lot for what he has done..but avery johnson is just a great coach who understands the offense..when dirk sits out..they still win..simple as that..but well make the point of when kobe sitting out..oh lord..lets not go there..although he takes much criticism for shot taking..what else can the man do but shoot when his team is doing poorly..you cant help but rely on your captain to bring your spirits back up by putting up 81 points per game..so all in all..kobe bryant will get MVP..if not..the nba better redifine their perspective of what an MVP is

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:46:00 AM, Blogger kobedaman said...

ofcourse. Its kobe we talkin about!!! I don't even get how people can compare him to players like Steve Nash. Nash is not bad. But Kobe is way ahead of him. Kobe is simply just too good!!! I mean who else can make a no-look, off-balance shot.And 62 in three quarters and 81 and a couple more 50 point performances. Way tooo good. A selfish player? Maybe a little but lets face the truth, points win games.He should be Mvp no question. I mean, put nash in his place. Where will the points come from? Smush??? If so, I'd be surprised if lakers won anywhere closes to 30 games.

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 3:13:00 AM, Blogger kobedaman said...

Lets compare nash and phoenix and kobe and lakers. First of all Kobe is the only man on the lakers team who is playing the sport of baskeball. Lamar and smush chipped in a couple of games, but thats it. You look at phoenix and almost every player knows how to play.There all fine. So nash shouldn't get all the credit.Him, marion, Raja bell, guys like diaw, barbosa. Thats packed. Take marion out and i think suns would battle for the 6th and 5th spot. Then take out bell and there battling for the 7th or 8th. Take diaw and there doomed. Same with lakers. Take kobe out and they would be fighting for second-last in the league. after reading this ur eyes wake up and you realize Kobe is the best player playing b-ball in the world. And the best player means, the most valuable player.

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well where do I start? PLEASE STOP HATING ON KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No one can forget about his involvement in the rape case, but that part of his life is over and he has tried to move past it but there are so many people that continue to penalize him for being accused and not convicted. Any person who knows anything about hoops can see that no other player in the league brings what MR.BRYANT brings EVERY NIGHT. Every since the 81pt game ticket sales have increased everywhere with people hoping to see history take place. No one has done that since MR.JORDAN so as far as hoops is concerned who else has an inferior cast, superior skills, and a spot in the playoffs? If you don't know then I will tell you...
THE 2006 NBA MVP." KOBE BRYANT"

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Jacari Lewis said...

A skip all the stupid stuff.... kobe is the best in the N.B.A right now, who ever thinks differntly yall dont know b-ball, they say Kobe gets no assists, he passes the ball the just cant make a basket, for the playoffs its not Lakers vs. Suns, it's Kobe vs. Suns.... if it was no kobe its no lakers.. he's da best.. think about it.... 81 points. C'mon now. Cant no1 hold him, he's way better than t-mac, iverson

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nash has been reported as the MVP, but David Friedman, how accurate do you think it is? In fact,I heard Kobe didnt get placed top 3. Isnt that absurb?

 
At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

the good folk at east valley tribune did polled about 60% of the voters. Which you can read here
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=64128


Apparently Kobe wasn't on 13 of the voters ballots that they polled.

 
At Thursday, April 27, 2006 2:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

those cowards are stupid. Like those ESPN NHL "EXPERTS" predicted Dallas Stars will win the playoff series against the Avs in 5 games which is now for sure impossible. They are stupid. Just look at the NBA all-stars vote accross the country Kobe is the 2nd. Where is nash? Kobe would be the 1st if not becuz of Yao having a 1.3 billion ppl back him up.

I can't imagine what would happen if Kobe is not in NBA today just as Jordan left NBA a few years ago. NBA would be not as exciting as nowaday.

 
At Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:46:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Usually in the days before an NBA award is officially announced the NBA "leaks" the name of the winner to the winner's local media. It is being reported in Arizona newspapers that Steve Nash has won the 2006 MVP. This will not be official until the NBA makes a formal announcement but I cannot recall a situation when a newspaper reported an MVP winner in advance and was wrong (this is different than predicting the winner or saying who should win; the paper received some kind of tip from someone in the NBA). The Dallas media received a heads-up about Avery Johnson winning Coach of the Year. The article that I saw about the MVP voting suggests that the balloting was close and that Kobe finished fifth. I don't consider Nash an "absurd" choice--I had him second--but if Kobe finished fifth I would qualify that as "absurd," even in a year with so many worthy candidates. By the way, Bryant and the Lakers just took home court advantage from the Suns. The next two games will be in L.A., with game five being held in Phoenix. If the Lakers keep home court advantage then Nash could very well receive his MVP trophy and be knocked out of the playoffs on the same night. Remember when David Robinson received his MVP before a playoff game against Houston and then Hakeem Olajuwon annihilated him during the game and series? The next week could be very interesting. If Kobe and the Lakers have an extended playoff run then Kobe could be setting the stage for making a run at the 2007 MVP. After all, the main things that critics hold against him are shooting too much and not making his teammates better. If he plays like he's played in the first two games against Phoenix and the Lakers are successful then those criticisms will not hold much water. Bryant and Nash both shined in tonight's game but Nash had a lot of turnovers and, as I mentioned, the Lakers seized homecourt advantage. Other than Bryant and Odom the Lakers lineup does not have a lot of marquee names but when you watch the teams play it does not look like a typical 2-7 matchup.

 
At Thursday, April 27, 2006 4:57:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

"After all, the main things that critics hold against him are shooting too much and not making his teammates better. If he plays like he's played in the first two games against Phoenix and the Lakers are successful then those criticisms will not hold much water."

Exactly, that's all people want from him. The guy is looking like the leader the media wanted him to be in the past. This and the Cleveland series are carrying the playoffs so far.

 
At Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Friedman, who do you pick in the series? I pick the lakers in six.

 
At Friday, April 28, 2006 5:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Jimmy, my point about the criticisms no longer holding water if Kobe keeps this up is that maybe the criticisms were never valid--unless we are to believe that Kobe "suddenly" learned how to play right before this playoff series. It seems more likely that when he was shooting so much earlier in the year it was by necessity. Let's not forget that he knew how to follow a game plan well enough to win three titles alongside Shaq. Yes, he was the second guy, but the second guy can mess things up if he is not following the program. By the way, Shaq was not always with the program in terms of conditioning and pick and roll defense, but that's a different story.

When I asked Phil Jackson about Kobe's scoring and high number of FGAs before the Lakers played at Cleveland, Jackson told me that he expected Kobe's FGAs to go down as the rest of the team learned the triangle. It seems that this is exactly what is happening. Meanwhile, Kobe's high FGA games carried the Lakers into the playoffs (don't forget that the Lakers have a better winning percentage in his 40 point games than his sub-40 point games). Now that they are in the playoffs, the maturation of the rest of the team may allow them to advance past the first round--but this would not be possible without Kobe shooting so much early in the year and MVP voters should not have held this against him, if in fact they did. Jackson has done a great job coaching this team and Kobe has done a great job not only as a player but also as a leader.

My complete playoff preview can be found in my April 21 post. I picked the Lakers to win this series and to beat the Clippers in the next round. I did not specify the number of games in that post, but I expect it to be six. I alluded to this in the post by pointing out that it is easier to win on the road early in a series. I can't see this Lakers team winning a game seven on the road. The Lakers have their road win and must win their remaining home games and close the series out in six.

 
At Sunday, April 30, 2006 6:41:00 PM, Anonymous Jimmy G said...

The man continues to impress, but Lebron still my MVP. Viva el mamba.

 
At Monday, May 01, 2006 7:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Love Kobe

 
At Monday, May 01, 2006 7:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Love Kobe

 
At Saturday, October 28, 2006 3:20:00 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

Agree 100%. We discussed this on our site last year, basically asking what the hell does Kobe have to do to win the MVP?

http://theassociation.blogs.com/the_association/2006/04/quick_hit_how_k.html

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home