It is official.
Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, has finally won his first MVP trophy after almost 12 years in the NBA. For the past four years, he has dominated the league with the help of his individual talent, and has widely been accepted as the league's best player, or for that matter, best basketball player in the world.
Some legitimate reasons for not voting for this guy in previous years were that he hasn't been the best person, the best teammate, or even the best ambassador for the National Basketball Association.
Now, your intrepid author is a huge fan of Kobe Bryant, but I also understand the reasons mentioned above for not giving him the trophy. He has done it all, from dominating young player, to a three-time NBA champion, to a downfall, and rocking individual performances, including the 81 point game and two NBA scoring championship in his resume.
Why he deserves the award
This year, Kobe Bryant developed a mentality of facilitate first and shoot second, allowing him to involve and trust his teammates throughout the long season. He took the Lakers to the best record in, arguably, the toughest Western Conference in NBA history. There's no reason for Kobe Bryant not to win this award, though there are plenty of others for whom a case could be made.
Moreover, he's done it with several key teammates injured, including recently aquired Pau Gasol, and the young center Andrew Bynum. I can go on and on about his achievements in 2007-2008 season, but another factor, and probably the most important one, would be that people wanted him to win the MVP. Many players hear MVP chants from their local crowds, but Kobe Bryant is the only one who hears it from the whole nation.
Bryant averaged 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.84 steals while playing in all 82 games, despite tearing a ligament in his right pinkie finger in February. A hand specialist recommended surgery, but Bryant decided to put it off until after the Olympics this summer.
Other Deserving Candidates:
Chris Paul is a great player, a great teammate, and a winner. All these are the key things voters look for when it comes to the MVP. He has handled these discussions very well at such a young age. His play is awesome. In fact, I only used to watch and follow the Lakers, but now I have started watching and following the greatness of Chris Paul.
He definitely deserves the trophy, but I think voters favor Kobe Bryant because of his achievements throughout his career. Chris Paul has not proven anything in his short but spectacular career. Even though I love Kobe Bryant, if I had a vote on this, I would go for Chris Paul. Because he has turned a player like David West into an all star, a Tyson Chandler (a.k.a bust) into a player for the USA Olympics Men Basketball Team.
Certainly Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers are worthy of MVP honors, as well. Garnett led the Celtics to the best record in the NBA, and James continues to be a one-man show. However, the Cavs' record isn't good enough for him to be considered (40-31), and Garnett has already missed nine games.
MVP Voting Official Results
Not enough? Read what others have to say on this.
Lakers.com: Kobe Bryant MVP
Fan Voice: Sound off on Kobe's MVP
NBAStore.com: Buy your Kobe MVP gear
WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING
WHAT Other BLOGS ARE SAYING
What are Kobe Haters Saying
As always, comments, suggestions, and questions are welcomed.