NBA MVP: How It Should Be Determined

David LeneyCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2008

When picking the NBA MVP, I’ve never quite understood the approach, or formula, most voters use. 

Picking the best player on the best team always seemed like a cop-out to me.  Sure, there’s a lot to be said by having one of the best records, but chances are if your team has the best record then there’s more than one great player on your team.   

Take the San Antonio Spurs for example.  We all know how talented Tim Duncan is, clearly the MVP for the Spurs, but if you took away Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili is Tim Duncan still as effective?  Are the Spurs in general still as effective? 

My point is that they should determine the MVP based on: when (FILL IN NAME) is on the floor, I never feel like his team is out of the game.

For me, the two names that come to mind are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.  I’m not saying that these are the only two players that can give you that feeling, but when I watch the Lakers or Cavaliers I can’t help but feel those teams always have a chance, regardless of who’s playing around Kobe or LeBron. 

Or you might get that feeling when you see Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, or Steve Nash.  There’s no right or wrong answer among the elite players in the league because that feeling is different for everybody.

I tend to lean on LeBron more this season because if you took him away from the Cavaliers, they’d be worse than the Miami Heat are right now.  At least without Kobe, the Lakers have Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. 

Kobe also doesn’t make the players around him better the way LeBron does.  Pau Gasol was already great, Lamar Odom is a career under-achiever because his expectations coming into the league were through the roof, and Andrew Bynum (pre-injury) is getting very good, not entirely because Kobe but rather Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (over the past two summers).        
I actually wish the captain’s of each team exclusively voted for the MVP.  How could they be wrong, they're the one’s playing against these guys every night?  Who are we as fans to tell Chauncey Billups “you’re wrong, (FILL IN NAME) is much harder to guard than (FILL IN NAME).” 

This would also be great as it would bar ESPN’s Skip Bayless from having any vote, opinion, or anything else to rant on about towards the end of the season.