Even though Kobe Bryant has an overall better career record in huge moments than LeBron James, the MVP candidacy is solely based on the NOW.
What is each star contributing to his franchise NOW? What does he mean to the league NOW? How great is he NOW?
The answers of those questions will be changed as the LA Lakers franchise seems like it is on a downward spiral ever since Jim Buss has taken the reins of the organization. Taking away Lamar Odom, one of the Lakers’ best assets, and giving him to the same team who swept them last postseason shows how much the newly-instated Buss in charge feels about the present direction of the team.
Kobe Bryant will sadly be on the receiving end of every inch of criticism that the Lakers receive, as it appears it will be his sole responsibility to win their upcoming season.
The MVP award is about the individual, but a lot of times the environment has a huge impact on what level said individual is able to function. Bryant is just as confused about the direction of the franchise he has put so much sweat, blood and obscenities as the general public. That will not translate well into the regular season.
In the past, Bryant’s ability to play pissed has usually resulted well for his teammates. However, those combo-guard skills that he has been forced to exhibit may not be as well executed as they had been before. Derek Fisher is on his way out of the league, period. Andrew Bynum is unreasonably lacking in reaching and exceeding his potential.
Pau Gasol was weak in the last postseason, even with a spurt of confidence in the preseason game against the Clippers, and the Lakers do not have much to look forward to without bringing in Dwight Howard. Bryant is not even the most important player in LA anymore.
OK, maybe he is, but he most definitely does not play for the most intriguing team in LA anymore.