Wednesday , Feb , 27 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Is there a Challenger to Kobe Bryant as MVP?

The chant has always been there. The truth behind it has not.During the first few years, it was a high-pitched dream.During the last few years, it was a hollow honorarium. Finally, this season, for the first time, it is a reality. ‘M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!’ Kobe Bryant can win it. Kobe Bryant should win it. The chant that began just four minutes into the Lakers’ 96-83 victory over Portland on Tuesday night should finally become a part of Bryant’s resume. It won’t be the top line. But it will be the only one that is in bold. Because this is the one title Bryant could never win.

The wording was never right. The tone never fit. He has often been the most. But has he ever been valuable? He’s been a great scorer for lousy teams. He’s been a brilliant entertainer in a band of dullards. ‘He’s been the best player in the league,’ said assistant coach Brian Shaw. But the basketball writers, voting at the end of the regular season, never give it to the best player. They give it to the player who is best at making the players around him better. How else to explain that, for consecutive seasons, the MVP of the high-flying league was Steve Nash? …The award is so special because it is not about numbers, it is not about records, it is almost always about leadership. Click here for more from the Los Angeles Times.