LA Lakers: Why Kobe Bryant Will Finally Win His Second MVP Next Season

Steven Slivka@@StevenSlivkaCorrespondent IIIJuly 5, 2012

LA Lakers: Why Kobe Bryant Will Finally Win His Second MVP Next Season

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    Although he is one of the greatest players of all time, Kobe Bean Bryant only has one MVP to his name.

    Playing alongside the greatest dominant force in the history of the NBA in Shaquille O'Neal for eight seasons played a serious role in the MVP race.

    Now, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant dominating the headlines, Bryant is essentially tossed aside in the MVP race.

    And for what?

    All he did was average 28 PPG last season and finish second in the league in scoring despite missing eight games.

    It's mind-boggling to think that Bryant only has one MVP in a trophy case that's full of NBA championships, scoring titles and All-Star Game accolades.

    The time is now for him to win his second career Most Valuable Player Award.

A Standard 82-Game Season

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    In a shortened, suppressed season where games are crammed in for the sake of finishing the year with a reasonable amount of games, injuries plague veteran players more than ever.

    In a career that has seen multiple wrist, ankle and knee injuries, Bryant's body is as fragile as ever. Playing four games a week didn't exactly help his cause either.

    Next season, Bryant will get back to playing 82 games. He won't need to strain his body as much to get ready for three games in four nights.

    Although he can still play at an all-time level, his body isn't what it used to be. The drawn-out season will only benefit the aging superstar.

Addition of Steve Nash

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    Pairing Kobe Bryant with one of the best point guards in the league is a dream come true for the Lakers.

    Last season, the team struggled mightily because it was unable to get solid play from the point, forcing Kobe to take on more than he should have.

    Steve Nash averaged nearly 11 assists per game last season and has made everyone around him better his entire career.

    He's played with Dirk Nowitzki and Amare Stoudemire, and working with Bryant will give Nash the biggest superstar he's ever been able to share the court with.

    With Nash delivering picture-perfect passes on a consistent basis, Bryant can only benefit from playing with such a proven point guard.

    It's hard to believe Nash has more MVPs than Bryant, but Kobe doesn't mind as long as the two of them bring a championship to L.A. next season.

Still Capable of Averaging 30 PPG

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    Kobe Bryant has averaged over 30 PPG three times in his illustrious career, including his unbelievable 35.4 PPG during the 2005-06 season.

    Although he led the league in scoring that year, he was still shunned of the MVP Award and had to wait two more seasons to win his first one.

    He hasn't averaged 30 PPG since the 2006-07 season, but has averaged at least 25 PPG every season since.

    Bryant is one of those few players that has the ability to make unbelievably difficult shots with three hands in his face. It's his ability to make the impossible shots that have help define his image.

    Assuming he stays healthy for the entire season, Bryant will always have the ability to average 30 PPG every time he steps on the court.

Redemption from Last Season

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    After a second straight early exit from the postseason, Kobe Bryant is determined as ever to make a deep run in the playoffs next year.

    He jacked up the crazy amount of 361 shots in just 12 postseason games, and he was criticized for putting up as many shots as he did.

    Granted, he is the shooting guard and the most notable player on the Lakers, but the amount of work he tried to take on against the Thunder was overwhelming even for his standards.

    As hard as the Lakers crashed and burned in the playoffs, Bryant was at the front of it all for the sake of being the face of the franchise.

    He'll be looking to redeem himself next season.

Still Hungry for a Sixth Championship

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    Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan have both been regarded as "two of the greatest players of all time."

    Both men have won, and won a lot. Jordan finished his career with six NBA championships and Bryant is stuck on No. 5.

    After the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in the 2010 NBA Finals, Bryant let everyone know he had "one more than Shaq."

    He's reached the finals seven times in his career, but hasn't made the conference finals since 2010.

    Bryant's hunger for another championship fuels his game that much more, and when he is determined, he is unstoppable.

    As much hype as the Lakers will be getting next season, Bryant will still show up to work every day, busting his tail for that sixth ring.