Tuesday , Apr , 15 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

The Squad: HoopsVibe Picks the MVP

The Squad: HoopsVibe Picks the MVP

With every news outlet worth its salt assembling their crew for the mandatory MVP conversation, we thought it was high time we made our stances on the debate public.  So, without further ado, we present the MVP picks from five of HoopsVibe’s finest.  Read the arguments and consider them carefully, then curse us out in the comment box at the bottom of the page when you disagree.  Oh, and use uppercase letters and exclamation points wherever possible; it lends credibility to your case.

Jordan Rivas
Any discussion of the league’s MVP essentially splits fans and commentators into two distinct groups; there are those who attempt to predict who will win MVP, and those who boisterously claim who should win MVP. Consider me part of the latter grouping.

This year’s decision can really only go a couple of different ways – Kevin Garnett in Boston, or Kobe Bryant in L.A. Take your pick. I can acknowledge that both of them are deserving, but neither is my pick.

Chris Paul. I said Paul was a top five point guard his rookie season. I said he was second only to Kidd and Nash last season. Now I’m prepared to call him the best point guard on planet fucking earth, and the most valuable player in the league. CP3 has averaged a steady 21 and 11 all season, he leads the league in assists, leads the league in steals, and has catapulted the New Orleans Hornets to the top tier of the Western Conference in one of the fiercest and most competitive seasons in a single conference that the league has ever seen. Plain and simple, what Paul has done this season is unprecedented.

He isn’t as big a name as Kobe or Garnett, he plays in small market New Orleans and for those reasons he probably won’t win the award, but that shouldn’t take away from what Paul has done this season. Chris Paul is the MVP.

Jason Kelly
Chris Paul, the first 20-10 point guard in 15 years. He is the reason the Hornets are where they are and any team would want him. He is the best point guard in the league, and that is important to consider because of the strength of the position. The competitin is tougher. He is better than Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Deron Williams.

Kobe Bryant was only considered an MVP candidate for his short stretch alongside Pau Gasol — and LeBron James is more valuable than Kobe.

I read quite a few Celtics’ sites saying Paul Pierce is a much of an MVP as Kevin Garnett. I don’t know about that — but if the C’s are saying it, it must have some validity. Garnett is their leader, but it is a team effort. By the same token, Shaq is Phoenix’s new leader, but nobody is clamoring for him to be MVP.

LeBron James is a very close second, and probably the only guy that should be able to beat out Chris Paul. However, I picked CP3 before the All-Star break and I’m sticking to it.

Oly Sandor
Last April, the Celtics were lottery-bound and praying for Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. Larry-legend, The Garden, and Boston’s historic lore were distant memories, replaced by the bouncing ping-pong balls of New Jersey.

One year later, the Celtics have the NBA’s best record. Last summer, the green-and-white struck out on drafting Oden or Durant, so they traded for veterans Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

Allen has been good, but Garnett has been great, dominating both ends of the floor. In fact, The Big Ticket is my MVP.

Forget about numbers because Garnett has done something more significant in changing Boston’s culture. From day one of summer workouts, the future Hall of Fame post has set the club’s values. Losing and apathy are out; hard work and intensity are in. Who can forget Garnett giving Rajon Rondo a pep talk prior to the rookie-sophomore game?

The Celtics win with defence. For example, the club swept their recent Texas road trip, using stingy ‘D’ to beat Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Of course, Garnett’s length, quickness, and basketball IQ anchors Boston’s airtight defence.

Sure, other candidates are flashier and have had better statistical seasons. But Garnett has been the best player on the NBA’s best team. And resurrecting a dead franchise is bigger than numbers.

Chris Sells
The current trend in the NBA is to give MVP award to players who probably didn’t deserve them. They give the trophy to someone who was in the argument, but it’s just not quite right. This year will likely be no different.

Kobe, KG and CP3 are all magnificent players and are doing spectacular things on the court this season. But to give the MVP to anyone but LeBron James would be silly. Take a look at the Cavaliers’ roster. Name one other person that you would have to worry about doing anything significant consistently. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Leading the league in scoring, your team in assists and putting up very healthy rebound numbers while keeping your team in the upper half of the East is a very tall task. Doing it alone is another story. Still inspiring fear in the hearts of the opposing team every time you touch the ball puts you in elite status.

But like I said, people will look at the other players with their talented teams and inflated win totals and decide to throw the hardware at them. But if everyone is honest with themselves, they know that there isn’t another player on Earth that you’d want on your team more than this guy.

C.Y. Ellis
Never in my years of following the NBA have I had such difficulties settling on a winner, and even as I type this I find myself vacillating in the face of 2008’s absurdly strong field.  So, whom, after my many hours of number-crunching, soul-searching and soda-drinking did I finally pick for the honours?  Short answer: Chris Paul.  Long answer: Chriiiiis Paaaaaaaul. 

That said, I hate to see another year go by in which Kobe, the scariest man in shorts since Richard Simmons, is rewarded for his efforts with nothing but millions of dollars and the adulation of countless fans worldwide.  While I still favour CP3 for the Maurice Podoloff, I can’t ignore the injustice in the millennium’s most consistently dangerous player suiting up for his thirteenth season without a single MVP trophy on the mantle.  Something needs to be done to right this wrong, even if the rules need to be bent a tad to facilitate it.   

Save for Chris Kaman’s haircut and the New York Knicks, no problem is irremediable, and the solution to this quandary is a fairly simple one for the NBA: Reclaim Steve and Dirk’s arbitrarily awarded MVPs (if they complain, just tell them you forgot to take defence into account) and redistribute them accordingly.  Given the depth of this year’s field, it shouldn’t be hard to find each of the three awards a decent home, with LeBron and K.G. being fully worthy of their first and second MVP wins respectively.  With the four available statues having been handed out according to each player’s claim to superiority, Chris Paul (the player who did the most with the least), Kobe Bryant (the meanest man in the game), Kevin Garnett (the key component in the league’s best team) and LeBron James (the nicest numbers since the G.O.A.T.) will all have received their dues, with the only fall-out being some longer than usual faces in the Nash and Nowitzki households.     

[image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47864808@N00/]