Case Closed: Kobe Bryant for NBA MVP

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst IMay 3, 2008

It's about time! Say what you will about Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett, but Kobe is the MVP.

The MVP award in sports has sort of turned into the best player on the best team award. Bryant is the best player on earth and he is on the best team in possibly the deepest conference in NBA history.

Paul obviously means a ton to his team.

However, with a team that does not have veteran leadership, it's been Byron Scott, who the Nets should be sorry for firing, that has made that team what it is.

Scott has done a great job and that is why he won coach of the year. By awarding Scott, we are saying that he is the reason for the success of his team. He is the glue that kept that team together and on track.

To me, if you have the coach of the year on your team, then you cannot also have the MVP.

That's just how I see it.

Garnett has a valid argument based on how the Celtics did last season.

However, he has Paul Pierce who is a proven All-Star, and they added Ray Allen. That team made some big moves in the offseason to improve on its terrible 2006-07 campaign.

Per, Kobe plays on the ninth-youngest team in the NBA, with an average age of 25.9. Of the teams younger, only two made the playoffs, and only Utah is in the West.

With that being said, Kobe has led this young team to the top of the Western Conference, against veteran teams like the Spurs, Suns, and Mavs.

Some may say it was the addition of Pau Gasol is what made the Lakers so good. To that I say that that Lakers played 36 games before Bynum went down, and were 25-11.

That is a winning percentage of .694 after almost half a season. The Lakers final record was 57-25. That is a winning percentage of .695.

As you can see, not much changed.

Of course if dissected more, the Lakers did go 3-5 without Bynum and Gasol, and 29-9 with Gasol which is a .760 winning percentage.

This just proves that Gasol was a huge acquisition and is a better player at this point than Bynum.

The Lakers improved with Gasol, however, they had to incorporate him mid-season, unlike the big three of the Celtics who started together in preseason.

The Lakers played almost half a season without Gasol and were still off to a great start, as mentioned above.

You cannot deny Kobe's veteran leadership and his unselfishness this year. He understood that to win he must pass more and incorporate his teams.

This is obvious with his dip in points per game, while maintaining 5.4 assists per game.

For a veteran player to adapt and change his style proves leadership, maturity, and MVP status.

That is why Kobe Bryant is the best player, on the best team, and your 2007-08 MVP.