Monday , Sep , 03 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Why Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, & LeBron James Shouldn’t Have Won FIBA Americas MVP

But, in a weird way, it was fitting no American won MVP. The United States succeeded in Vegas because of their teamwork. Everybody sacrificed their numbers and minutes for the greater good. And by coming together, they buried the perception that Americans play basketball like individuals …

Yes, Team USA brought American basketball back with their dominant play at the FIBA Americas Tournament in Vegas. Stars and Stripes mauled every opponent, winning games by an average of more than thirty points.

But Team USA didn’t leave with all the silverware: Argentine forward Luis Scola won the MVP award.  Michael Lee, of the Washington Post, explains why  Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James should have won MVP instead of Scola.

Yet, when the ballots were turned in, Luis Scola received eight votes, Carmelo got six, Kobe got three, LeBron got two and Leandro Barbosa got one.

When the word got out about the final results, the immediate conclusion among most reporters was that most of the Latin American writers chose Scola, while the Americans split the votes. Then, I found out that two Americans actually voted for Scola.

How un-American is that? I jokingly approached one of the American writers about voting for Scola and he said, "I sure did. Argentina wouldn’t be here without him." I won’t out the writer unless he outs himself. I have to respect him for sticking to his guns. Doesn’t make him right, though.

Scola is nice, but you mean to tell me that Carmelo wouldn’t have dominated this tournament if he played for Puerto Rico; that LeBron wouldn’t have been amazing playing for Canada or the Virgin Islands? I know those guys couldn’t play for those countries, I’m just trying to put what they did into perspective. They shouldn’t be discredited for being surrounded by superior talent. The U.S. would not have been that dominant without them.

My Quick Take: I agree with Lee. Scola was outstanding, but the United States was easily the tournament’s best team, so in some respects Anthony, , or should have won MVP.

But, in a weird way, it was fitting no American won MVP. The United States succeeded in Vegas because of their teamwork. Everybody sacrificed their numbers and minutes for the greater good. And by coming together, they buried the perception that Americans play basketball like individuals.

You know the perception I’m talking about. Right or wrong, fair or not, Euros and South Americans believe the streetball, highlight clip culture has ruined basketball in the United States. Foreigners believe the Yanks can’t win because players think I, me, and ESPN Sportscenter, before us, we, and fundamentals.

Nonsense. What’s ironic is that the best international ballers, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, and Dirk Nowitzki, have elements of ‘Americana’ in their game. They’ve become the best in the world because they modeled themselves after classic Americans. Nash passes like Magic Johnson. Parker drives to the hole like Isiah Thomas. And Dirk shoots the lights out like Larry Bird.

So let Scola have MVP. Team USA showed that American basketball isn’t all about the individual and still has plenty to offer. That’s more important than a trophy.

Agree or disagree with Oly Sandor’s take? Should an American have won MVP? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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