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Captain Disaster
03-28-2007, 06:31 PM
Why Kobe is the MVP
Mashburn
By Jamal Mashburn
ESPN.com

At the beginning of the season, I picked Kobe Bryant to finish as the MVP.

When I did that, I took into consideration everything he's accomplished in his career, yet he's never been the MVP for the regular season.

Why not? I don't know why this particular recognition has eluded him. Maybe there's some backlash about the breakup with the popular Shaq. Maybe, to a degree, the Colorado court case. There's no doubt his image has taken a hit.

And maybe we've just become accustomed to his being a superstar player.

Then the season began. Before he went on this latest run, he was taking seven fewer shots per game and still averaging 29 points per game. He was making his teammates better, Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum in particular, getting everybody involved. And in the last few weeks, when his team needed him to take over in scoring, he did.

He's my call for MVP.

However, Bryant had an off night Tuesday, scoring 23 in an 88-86 loss to the lowly Grizzlies. That snapped the Los Angeles Lakers' win streak at five. And it snapped Kobe's 40-point-game streak at five, too.

Overall, though, he has done more for his team (compared to other MVP candidates) even though his supporting cast isn't as good. The Lakers might not be winning at the level of the Spurs and Mavericks, but without him they're a lottery team.

I don't think the award has to go to the best player on the team with the best record, even though I really like what Dirk Nowitzki has done this year.

Kobe's popularity might show he's the people choice. His jersey is No. 1 in sales -- when I think MVP, I look at somebody with star power. No shortage of that here.

Let's not forget about his defense. There are questions that could be raised about parts of most candidates' games, but there really aren't a lot of weaknesses in Kobe's game.

His run of four 50-point games certainly called attention to his offense. I had two 50-point games, one early in my career and one later. On those nights, the game slows down, you see the doubles coming. Everything seems to flow.

Kobe's now at the stage of his career where the game has slowed down for him every night. He's playing the game within the game, like Larry, Magic and MJ before him, gaining that special confidence that comes with experience and mastery of the game.

And his experience will now help him with the increased attention he'll be facing on the court in the weeks ahead.

For the rest of the regular season, I think you're going to see a lot of teams come at Kobe with more double teams, keying on him. This is where the kind of teamwork he helped develop in his team early in the year will show. His assists will likely go up. Having Lamar Odom and Walton out there will take the pressure off.

And then the playoffs will come. This is where the stars come out. Watching Kobe night in and night out, we can see a stretch of games that shows he can dominate a series.

As it stands now in the West standings, the No. 6 Lakers would take on the No. 3 Spurs. Scoring 50 in the playoffs is a much taller task compared to many of the teams Kobe has faced in this run. A very tall task against the Spurs.

No matter who his team faces, the playoffs this year will likely show the evolution of Kobe. He can take over. He can make teammates better. He has learned from the Suns' series last year. The dominant player's focus will be that much sharper on exactly what his team needs.

Sounds like an MVP to me.

Five-ofan
03-28-2007, 06:40 PM
Im still trying to figure out how this myth that kobe is a great defender persists. he is a BELOW average defender. He got whored by some guy ive never heard of last night just like he gets whored almost every night but never gets called on it.

left texas
03-28-2007, 06:41 PM
Why Kobe is the MVP
Mashburn
By Jamal Mashburn
ESPN.com

At the beginning of the season, I picked Kobe Bryant to finish as the MVP.

When I did that, I took into consideration everything he's accomplished in his career, yet he's never been the MVP for the regular season.
__________________________________________________ ________________________

So what that you picked him at the beginning of the season, so what about everything he
has accomplished, so what that he has never been MVP. He won't be again this year.
Idiotic article.

Windmill360
03-28-2007, 06:42 PM
So because he is the number one selling jersey in another country and he has had 4 consecutive regular season games in which he has scored 50 or more points he should be the MVP.

Flacolaco
03-28-2007, 06:55 PM
why is jamaal mashburn contributing to ESPN?

endrity
03-28-2007, 07:39 PM
The most idiotic argument: Without Kobe the Lakers would be in the lottery.... well they are almost there with him anyway.

nowhereman
03-28-2007, 10:21 PM
hahaha

it's good to see mashburn's writing is even worse than his announcing.

sike
03-28-2007, 10:23 PM
Toni?

DevinHarriswillstart
03-28-2007, 11:10 PM
How about MVP to someone who's ankle breaks about every week, plays through a sinus infection, is dead tired from playing basketball non-stop since the finals, but still plays every game. Sounds like an MVP to me.

Oh I'm sorry, cause scoring matters more than that.

Dirk = MVP

DubOverdose
03-28-2007, 11:53 PM
The most idiotic argument: Without Kobe the Lakers would be in the lottery.... well they are almost there with him anyway.
The argument is complete crap, regardless of what the Laker's record is. Does anyone think the Mavs would be in the playoffs without Dirk? We have talented players, but we'd lack a true go to guy. I think we'd be struggling like the Kings. They have a lot of talent still, but Bibby is their best player. If someone takes a regular season record without a star player in the game to equate success sans the star player over a whole season, that too is crap. The coach gets paid for a reason- to make a game plan/season plan that fits the identity of the team. When you lack your go to guy, your dynamic changes completely and it can be extremely tough to win unless your coach is very good or you have guys really step up their play.

nashtymavsfan13
03-28-2007, 11:56 PM
Windmill, I think that's your best sig yet, it's amazing.

Usually Lurkin
03-29-2007, 06:42 AM
ha ha.
I thought the first sentence of the article was the answer to the title.
I also really love two of his arguments. First, Kobe was playing more like Dirk. Second, when his teammates couldn't or wouldn't reflect his new approach to winning, he's successfully ditched them to win on his own.

Why in the world is it more valuable to bring a team from ping-pong-ball heaven to barely into the playoffs than to bring a barely into the playoffs team into the championship finals? It seems that because Kobe plays his team out of the lottery, but not high enough for real wins, he's adding negative value.

mkat
03-29-2007, 12:02 PM
i think he picked him cause he's black.

mffl03
03-29-2007, 02:04 PM
Horrible argument indeed.

I heard a great "will not win without argument" the other day on the radio.

If people are going to bring up that, then it might as well be Redd from the Bucks.

ty
03-29-2007, 02:30 PM
MVP should always go to one of the top two teams in the conference.

ty
03-29-2007, 02:30 PM
and Mashburn is definitely a ball player, not a writer...poor guy.