NBA: After Much Speculation Kobe Bryant Is Expected To Be MVP

John LewisSenior Writer IMay 6, 2008

Ever since he helped split up the duo with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant has looked for this opportunity for success.  It's taken a couple of years but according to several sources now he can finally say he earned the best player in the league status by hoisting up the most valuable player trophy.

This will be the first MVP award for Kobe and this year he set another first, as in first playoff series win without Shaquille O'Neal, when the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets in four games.  Bryant was second in the league in points scored with a 28.3 points per game average along with his 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assits and 1.84 steals per game.

Bryant also tore a ligament in his right pinkie finger but chose to play through the pain instead of having surgery.  Bryant has led the league in scoring twice but never finished any higher than third in the MVP voting.  Surprising that Bryant, a 12 year veteran, has only won the award one time, but you would be amazed at the other notable athletes that only have one MVP award.

Shaquille O'Neal - considered by many as the best center ever and four NBA titles, Charles Barkley - named one of the 50 greatest players and over 10,000 career rebounds and Oscar Robertson - The "Big O" is the only player to average a triple double for an entire season.

In baseball the list includes Ty Cobb -  4,191 hits and .367 lifetime batting average, Babe Ruth - 714 home runs and a .342 career batting average and Ken Griffey Jr. - will have more than 600 career home runs and 10 gold gloves. 

Switching sports to the NFL, O.J. Simpson - first player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season, Walter Payton - retired as the all-time leading in rushing yards, Emmitt Smith - broke Payton's career rushing yards mark and won three Super Bowls and LaDainian Tomlinson - 115 touchdowns in only seven seasons.

While Kobe Bryant may win more than one MVP award in his career he certainly isn't alone with only one in the trophy case.