Hey Chris Paul fans, Hey Zander - You wanna be a man?
Then own up to the fact that Kobe Bryant is the 2008 NBA MVP!
You heard me. Stop griping and get on!
First couple of lines that come out of Zander Freund's article talks about this being 2008, yet, he revisits Steve Nash's MVP numbers to make his point on why Chris Paul should be this year's 2008 MVP.
Since this guy has absolutely no clue as to what constitutes an MVP, I thought I would educate.
He goes on to say that Chris Paul's numbers 21 points 11.6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2.7 steals shooting .488 percent.
Makes Kobe Bryant's numbers, 28.3 points 6.3 rebounds 5.4 assists. 1.8 steals, shooting .459% look like "Tractor Traylor's" playbook. The "out of shape" version.
Then it dawned on me. This article was written originally in crayon, at recess.
Because no adult with half a brain would write something that asinine.
If we look at those stats side by side it looks like Paul is better in assists, steals, and field goal percentage. But here's a quick lesson.
True Shooting Percentage says Paul and Bryant are even at .576 percent. And since I know Zander has no clue as to what True Shooting Percentage is, let me educate.
TS% True Shooting Percentage calculates what a player’s shooting percentage would be if we accounted for free throws and 3-pointers. True Shooting Percentage = (Total points x 50) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44)]
It is PROVEN to be more accurate than FG% in measuring a player's efficiency.
So when it comes to TS% Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul are even.
Next is steals. Well, steals in NO WAY means you are a good defender. In fact it could prove quite the opposite because there is a lot of risk involved.
Example. Allen Iverson was always a leader in steals, yet not once was he ever an All-NBA Defender. NOT ONCE.
In fact Chris Paul is a defensive liability. According to Wyc Grousbeck in a TrueHoop article;
With Paul on the court, the Hornets give up 106.37 points every 100 possessions; with him off the court they're much better defensively, giving up only 99.94 points every 100 possessions. It's worth noting that Paul's on-off disparity is the worst of all Hornets players (starters or subs), so it cannot be a mere artifact of his being on the court with other poor defensive players. (By way of comparison, for example, the Hornets are 1.5 points better defensively with David West on the court).
And since defense is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT fundamentals a player can have. I would say Kobe Bryant being a FAR better defender is very significant to this debate. Chris Paul will not be a First Team Defender, but Kobe will, of course.
So that's two down and one to go, assists. Chris Paul wins. Won't argue that!
Don't get me wrong Chris Paul is a very deserving candidate, he just wasn't the MVP.
- Paul had better players for most of the season.
- Paul had an almost injury free roster.
- Paul didn't have a better record than Bryant.
- Paul didn't have better stats than Bryant. (Might have been close but not better)
- Kobe kept his team atop the West playing without a starting center for 30 games.
- The Lakers were plagued with injuries yet won the West and that's what an MVP does when his team is hurt.
- Bryant himself was injured and to this day STILL needs surgery.
And I'm not even going into the fact that Kobe was a better closer, better in the clutch this season and guarded the other teams best perimeter player.
And since the MVP award has absolutely nothing to do with past winners. It absolutely doesn’t matter why Nash won it. Nash turned the Phoenix Suns into a championship caliber team since day one.
As for Kobe's teammates.
Gasol was a SUBSTITUTION not an ADDITION. It’s not as though Bynum, Gasol, Bryant, and Odom were ever on the court at the same time. And pre-Gasol the Lakers were on pace to win 56 and guess how many they won?..........Tah Dah 57 games.
While Chris Paul had the privilege of a nearly injury free season, Kobe had to deal with losing Bynum. Remember, if Bynum doesn’t get hurt, NO GASOL! Kobe was without a starting center for 30 games this season which meant Kwame and Turiaf started in 30 games. Radmanovic missed 17 games and Walton and Gasol each missed 10. And of course Ariza. Yet Kobe still kept his team atop the West.
Did I mention that Paul plays with TWO other All Stars? And before you try and tell me that Chris Paul was the reason, remember last season the Hornets went 11 and 19 without West. That is less than a 30 win season pace. Yet pre-Gasol the Lakers were on pace to win 56.
Two more quick points before I dismiss you from your lesson Zander.
Vujacic, Farmar, Odom, Bynum, Radmanovic, Turiaf, Walton.
If you were to say that those guys were a great team last year people would laugh you under the table.
Today they are considered "Superior Talent". Why do you think that is?
Not Gasol. Remember the Lakers were on pace to win 56 before Gasol.
Not Fisher. He is the locker room leader. But not a facilitator and NO he couldn’t lead the Warriors.
Not Odom. He was called "Odumb" last year on the bloggosphere and one of the most inconsistent players ever.
Not Phil. He runs a team he coaches the triangle but it still has to be executed.
That leaves Bryant. But why would anybody give Bryant credit for making his teammates better? Ahhh, the "Anybody but Kobe" attitude.
Sorry, you can't use that excuse anymore!
6 Lakers had career seasons. 4 in points and FG%, Bynum, Turiaf, Farmar, Vujacic.
Lamar in Rebounds and FG%,
Gasol in FG%. In fact Gasol went from shooting .501% being the leader of one of the worst teams in the NBA to having a career high .589% playing 2nd option to Bryant.
Derek Fisher is having the second best season of his career at 33 years old.
And 3 Lakers are in the top 20 in 3pt field goal percentage while Bryant is leading his team in assists AGAIN.
So let’s go over it.
Points per game. winner Kobe.
Assists per game. winner Chris Paul
True Shooting Percentage TS% each .576 Draw
Defense winner by a landslide Kobe
Rebounds per game winner Kobe
Team Record winner Kobe
Making their teammates play at a higher level winner Kobe
Remember Kobe didn't have Bynum for 47 games, Trevor Ariza for 47 games, Vlad Radmanovic for 17, Luke Walton for 10 games and Pau Gasol missed 10 games.
Also, remember that the Lakers didn't have a starting center (Bynum or Gasol) for 30 games this season.
Yet Kobe Bryant was still able to lead his team to the best record in the West.
Paul plays with two other All Stars, West is just as important as Paul. Like I said, the Hornets went 11 and 19 without West last season.
So the only stat or team success that Paul has over Bryant is Assists. Well, good for him!
Did I mention that Bryant led his team to the best record in the most competitive conference in NBA history?
Bryant is the only player in NBA history to lead a team to the best record in a conference with EIGHT 50 plus win teams while winning the MVP. Chalk up another record for #24
And I'm not the only one that feels Bryant is the MVP. 82 experts felt the same way.
Kobe Bryant did it all with a torn ligament and broken finger in his shooting hand. That STILL requires surgery.
Kobe is the MVP!!!
Love it, Live it, Learn it!!!
Because it's not going to change!