Nash: 57 first place votes; .739 percent of overall points.
Kobe: 22 first place votes; .386 percent of overall points.
FG percent: .512
3PT percent: .439
FT percent: .921
Team wins: 54
FG percent: .450
3PT percent: .347
FT percent: .850
Team wins: 45
Like many, I always viewed Kobe as the epitome of all that is wrong in sports, the me-first jerk who says "look at me" when things go well and "ask my teammates" when excuses are needed.
He single-handedly destroyed the L.A. Lakers mini-dynasty, causing the departures of both Shaquille O'Neal and and Phil Jackson. Jackson called Kobe "uncoachable."
After a disastrous post-Shaq/Jackson season in which Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen coached the team to 34 wins, Kobe matured enough to make Jackson reconsider a return.
Jackson came back, tapped into Kobe's inner animal, and unleashed a beast the NBA has only seen in Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
Kobe's 35.4 points per game was the eighth-best average in a season in NBA history. It's the second best since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976.
His 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22 is without question the greatest single-game scoring performance in NBA history. Chamberlain's 100-point game was a circus; Wilt attempted 63 shots against a team with no quality post player.
Kobe made 28-46 shots, including 7-13 from downtown, in the flow of the game, to lead his team to a comeback win.
Kobe also scored 62 points against the Mavericks in three quarters before sitting out the fourth. He torched the Mavericks another time for 43.
He put up 50 against the Nets, Clippers, and Suns—all playoff teams. He dropped 39 against the Pistons in Detroit, 40 against them in L.A. He put up 43 against the Spurs and its No. 1 ranked defense.
The Lakers were 18-9 in games when Kobe scored 40 or more, and just 27-26 otherwise. A .500 team with 24 games to go, Kobe put the Lakers on his back and led them to a 16-8 run to make the playoffs. During this run, he went for 40 or more points 12 times.
This Lakers team had no business winning 40 games, let alone 45 games and making the playoffs. Their starters were Lamar Odom, Smush Parker, Chris Mihm, and Kwame Brown. Brian Cook made 46 starts after Mihm got hurt.
Nash had an incredible season in Phoenix but wasn't doing more with less, even with Stoudemire out for the year.
Nash still had an All-Star in Shawn Marion (averaged 22 and 12), who received Defensive Player of the Year and MVP votes.
Both Leandro Barbosa and Eddie House were up for Sixth Man of the Year. Boris Diaw won Most Improved Player.
Kobe finished fourth in the MVP voting after LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki, but had the second-most first place votes.
The voters knew he was deserving but passed on him because he was so unlikable as a person. Lame.