2011 MVP Race – Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron, Wade, Rose, Nowitzki, Howard, Durant
The newly minted 2011 All Star game MVP worked his way to be the star of stars. 37 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 steals are great numbers. Props to Kobe. It is back to business since All Star weekend is over. Where is Kobe in the league MVP race? Remember, this isn’t the legacy award like the All Star spots. Everyone has to put in serious work. That includes Bryant who is usually penciled in before the season started. Every great player’s time fades away, too. It sucks, but that’s life.
There have been complaints of Kobe ball hogging his way to the All Star MVP trophy. I honestly couldn’t care less because it is a meaningless award for an exhibition game. Have at it. The real prizes are the league MVP and Finals MVP. Ball hogging your way to be the NBA’s MVP will not work. Ask Kobe circa 2005-2006. The Black Mamba already won one in 2008 despite Chris Paul having a magical statistical GOAT – like season. Be happy. The NBA MVP League Criteria will sort this out this year among heavy weights such as Wade, LeBron, Nowitzki, Rose, Howard and Durant.
A) The Numbers – 58 games played, 33.8 MPG, 0.460 FG, 0.318 3PT, 0.829 FT, 5.3 REB, 4.8 AST, 1.2 STL, 0.1 BLK, 25.0 POINTS, PER 24.1
The statistics are great. There is nothing to be scrutinized except that Kobe is not playing many minutes. That was expected since they’re saving him for the playoffs. No surprises here. Kobe is averaging 25/5/5. That’s fine. MVP caliber numbers, but not good enough when stacked up against the rest. This is normal for a man playing tons of minutes facing the ravages of time.
B) Team record – 40-19. Third in the West. Sixth overall in the NBA.
Kobe’s Lakers should be a lot better than this especially when they are the back to back champions. Losing to Charlotte, Cleveland, and Indiana are huge blemishes for Player number 24. Laker fans were panicking, but for the wrong reasons. They are currently 20 games above .500. That’s good. No worries there. Instead, be worried about coasting. I don’t get why they are coasting at times, but that notion all starts and ends with Kobe. He sets the tone. That’s not a good look. Lakers should be better than the Spurs because of this.
C) Impact – I do not need to go over this. He’s not the NBA’s best player anymore, but remains a certified top 5 player. He’s still Kobe. He can score 40+ whenever he wants. Be very worried if Kobe doesn’t get 5+ assists per game. The Lakers have a hard time winning games if he does not obtain that goal unless he grows an afro, goatee, laces up a pair of Adidas Kobe 2, and put on the number 8 jersey again. His teammates consist of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, and good old reliable Derek Fisher. What’s not to love? You’d think his teammates should pick up the slack when Kobe has his off nights. Am I right? Right? Hello? Anyone there?
There are no excuses. Lakers should be better than Celtics, Spurs, and Heat. They’re a stacked team with the brilliant mastermind, Phil Jackson. Kobe Bryant has a 6% chance of getting the league MVP. He loses out if the race ends today against the young guns. He is not winning it at the end of the season. Kobe is like Christopher Nolan’s Inception. It’s a great entertaining film, but will not get the Oscar for Best Picture. It will not win for some odd reason despite a huge fan base pushing it.