Ed Ziti from MVN Lakers Library offers his submission today – and no prizes for who his nomination is! Read on to get the reasoning behind his choice of Kobe. He makes a pretty mean argument…
I’d like to nominate Kobe Bryant for MVP. Kobe has all of the criteria to be the MVP, but the key will be can he get the necessary votes.
Most voters have a checklist of what is needed to win the coveted award. Kobe fills out my checklist rather nicely and I was wondering if our lists were the same. To me, a MVP has to have pedigree. If you look at the list of past MVP winners, there are very few one year wonders. Let’s take a look at what is needed to secure the award.
Player must come from a winning team
The Lakers are off to a strong start and could potentially win 55 games and the Pacific division. MVP voting is based on the regular season, and not the playoffs, so the Lakers would probably have to win a minimum of 50 games for Kobe to be considered. If the Lakers step it up and win 60 or more games; you would have to consider Kobe a lock to win the award.
MVP’s need to put up points
Dominant scorers from winning teams are always in the hunt for the MVP award. Kobe is arguably the planets best offensive weapon averaging 35 and 31 points a game the last two campaigns. He can fill it up with the best of all time, and if you don’t believe me I’ll send you a video of his 81 point game.
Kobe possesses one of the greatest pull up jumpers ever seen, and when he gets hot, he’s basically unstoppable. The only reason he’s averaging 27 this year is because the rest of the team has caught up and is ready to assume a more consistent scoring load. He no longer has to score 50 for the team to win and is deferring to teammates for the teams benefit.
Kobe also possesses the overall numbers that an MVP needs, and that’s without getting into Kobe on the defensive end. He’s averaging 27.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.1 steals.
He makes the players around him better
Kobe was very patient with his Laker teammates the last two seasons, prior to his blow up over the summer, and it’s amazing how they have responded. Talk about handling constructive criticism or in this case destructive criticism; it’s a great story.
If you look at some of the passes Kobe has hit Andrew Bynum with for alley-oops and tomahawk dunks you’ll jump out of your chair! It’s very reminiscent of the Shaq dunks Laker fans miss so much. Only this time, its role reversal. Instead of the precocious Bryant being rushed along his teenage years by Shaquille O’Neal its Kobe doing the same to the 20 year old Bynum and it’s a pretty cool situation.
What has really helped Kobe win over his teammates is that he never lost them. Although Kobe may have left them for a couple of months mentally and spiritually; the Laker team never held it against him or said a discouraging word. Reason why, they all grew up watching Kobe win rings with Shaq. He was probably most of their favorite player growing up. To get a chance to play with him is flat out surreal for these guys! So they gave him a mulligan and it’s paying off in a big way for everyone involved.
Can’t have a teammate steal votes
Although Kobe is surrounded by solid talent, it’s unlikely that any of teammates would receive MVP votes. Most are too young or don’t score enough. Many of Kobe’s competitors for MVP could lose votes to teammates, such as Kevin Garnett, losing votes to Pierce and Allan or Nowitski losing votes to Josh Howard. Tim Duncan has a similar situation with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli. If the Lakers are successful and win 55 or more games; Kobe should get the bulk of the credit.
Must play big in big games
That’s Kobe signature. The bigger the game, the better Kobe plays. His latest display was on Christmas Day. Although he may play it down to be politically correct; Kobe loves the challenge of going up against the worlds best.
Kobe’s also comfortable and successful at taking the last shot, something not everyone can do. This is more of a plus then anything else, but as the season un-winds look for Kobe to add to his list of buzzer beaters.
If it isn’t Kobe, then who?
Please don’t say Steve Nash, Garnett is surrounded by Hall of Fame-rs and unless Cleveland turns it around they won’t win enough games. Who else, maybe Tim Duncan, he always gets votes, but Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are rising in popularity and could steal a few votes from the big fundamental.
A lot depends on the success of the Lakers, but if the season ended right now, Kobe would win it!
Editor’s note/summation: Well, my tally of who’s left to write was one short! Still have to post my own idea on this! Up soon… until then… 😉