My first article suffered a backlash I did not expect after posting a story stating my opinion on why Kobe Bryant should not win the Most Valuable Player award this year.
Though some of the remarks where from unabashed Lakers fanatics with a blind eye; many pointed out that I was very biased and relied heavily on character attacks to state my point.
To this, my response to all the Kobe lovers, I will back up my earlier statement for Kobe Bryant not being the MVP this year.
Let us look at five players who deserve consideration this year for the award:
Steve Nash, PG, Suns
Key Stats: 17.6 Ppg, 11.5 Apg Team Record '08: 39-18 Team Record '07: 61-21
A former two-time winner, Nash could never be counted out of his race, as he is the most integral part of his team.
With minor injuries keeping Grant Hill and Amare Stoudamire out for short stretches this year, and with the acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal, Nash has responded by matching career highs in assists per game and maintaining his team high level of game.
Kevin Garnett, PF, Celtics
Key Stats: 18.5 Ppg, 9.7 Rpg Team Record '08: 43-12 Team Record '07: 24-58
The arrival of Garnett in Boston has changed the face of his franchise and seriously challenges the top-tier teams in the East.
While his numbers are down from earlier on in his career, the true effect on this team can be felt on the defensive end of the court.
Before his injury, Boston allowed opponents to score 100 points only five times in 42 games.
Since his absence, the Celtics are 7-5, and have allowed 100 points six times.
The greatest indication of the affect of having Garnett around is the Celtics record against the all-mighty Western conference, 18-3.
Chris Paul, PG, Hornets
Key Stats: 20.7 Ppg 10.7 Apg Team Record '08: 37-18 Team Record '07: 39-43
In only his third year, Chris Paul has become a force to be reckoned with in the league.
While improving on all key stats, he has led his team to the fourth best record in the always tough West.
While teams like the Suns, Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks have multiple weapons to rely on, the Hornets rely more heavily on Paul then most other teams, with the offense flowing through him.
In him, the NBA has found the next great point guard.
Lebron James, SF, Cavaliers
Key Stats: 30.2 Ppg 8.1 Rpg 7.5 Apg Team Record '08: 32-25 Team Record '07: 50-32
We can state our case for Lebron as MVP, just on statistics alone.
He is having a season we have rarely seen before.
He is arguably the best player in the league, but what makes him a front runner for the MVP, is what he means to his team.
With no real number two option in the offence, Lebron has kept them near the top of the conference.
The recent additions of the likes of Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and Wally Szerbiak, should help cement their position going into the playoffs, but LeBron will still have to burden the offensive pressure, and has shown little signs of letting up.
Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
Key Stats: 27.8 Ppg 5.4 Apg Team Record 08: 40-17 Team Record 07: 42-40
Times have been tough since Shaquille O'Neal left a few years ago, but Kobe Bryant has managed to climb his Lakers back into contention with the Western Conferences best record to date this season.
Surrounded by his best supporting cast in years, he has become less of a one-man team and more of a leader.
Playing through an injury, he has maintained his high level of play, and his Lakers should be a force in the playoffs.
And the winner is....
All these players deserve consideration for the award of MVP, but only one can walk away with it.
While Lebron and Kobe can make interesting cases for themselves by being leaders, and Garnett has changed the face of a franchise, the clear front runner must be the man in New Orleans, Chris Paul.
While all other names in this list and there teams were considered to be playoff contenders at the beginning of the year, Paul has lead his team to near the top of the standings, while putting up great numbers for a point guard.
So there you have it, Kobe Bryant is NOT your MVP, though a close second with LeBron James, the award should be on Chris Paul's mantle come July.