Can an MVP call out his front office and demand to be traded in the beginning of the season? In my opinion, No, but what matters is the voters for the MVP award.
Kobe Bryant's numbers from this year are down from last year, but his team is much better. However, the other "LA," Lousiana, is a state that is still recovering from a tragic hurricane and is looking for a new leader, besides rapper Lil' Wayne to put the city back on track.
Wake Forest graduate Chris Paul's numbers are impressive, very impressive for a guy no taller than 6 feet. He came into the playoffs averaging 24.8 ppg and taking the assists title from former MVP Steve Nash by dishing out an average of 12 dimes a game. He lead New Orleans to the 2nd seed in the West and already they have eliminated Dallas from the playoffs andwait to play San Antonio in the next round.
In comparison to the two, Kobe has a MUCH better team. Even with the injury to young star Andrew Bynum he still has the automatic double-double in Lamar Odom and newly aquired Pau Gasol looks really good as he dunks the ball almost 7 times a game. Role players Derek Fisher is a veteran guard and Sasha Vujacic never misses when he is wide open. Chris Paul, on the contrary, has turned David West and Tyson Chandler, two mediocre household names into a reserve all star anda powerful center. They both put up career years, mostly thanks to the arrival of CP3.
But does it matter that Paul is a 3rd year guard, while Kobe is in his 12th season and his experience deserves him the trophy? No. Chris Paul took a team who finished 10th in the conference to 2nd and already a trip to the quarterfinals, something the city of New Orleans has not seen in a very long time. He was so good this year, he made his coach look good, winning Byron Scott the NBA's Coach of the Year Award.
Yeah leadership is significant in the MVP voting, but both are obvious leaders and both can take over a game. It would be nice if the NBA could incorporate the playoffs into the MVP race. Then last year's MVP Dirk Nowitzki would not have been in the top 5 after his Mavericks choked badly vs Golden State in the 2007 playoffs.
Hopefully the Hornets can handle the methodical, argumental San Antonio Spurs andthe Lakers can do the same with the winner of the Rockets/Jazz series. This way they can meet in the conference semifinals and we will really be treated to an MVP battle.
Some say Bryant's tenure in the league deserves him the MVP award. Yes it does, but not this year, his Lakers are stacked with talent, which takes pressure off him to score 50 points every night. Just watch Paul's highlights in game 5 vs Dallas and you will see why Mark Cuban was about to cry. A display of dazzling layups and unthinkable passes were just a small part of the repertoire CP3 brings to the court every night.
A triple-double in the playoffs? Kobe has yet to do that in this year's playoffs. That's worthy enough of my MVP vote.
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