Sunday, March 30, 2008

An idiot talks the NBA MVP

Before I give my ballot for the NBA’s most valuable player, let’s get a few things straight here. This is the MVP, not the “best player in the league” or “guy with the best stats.” Oh no, this is which guy is the most clutch, gutsy and tough. Being on a winning team is paramount, as MVP’s aren’t on bad teams.

All this nonsense about “PER” and “true shooting percentage” or whatever is bunk. Let me look at points, rebounds and assists – and most importantly - wins. Don’t confuse me with your geeky “advanced stats” and “numbers.” Wake me up when Pi can run the fast break or make a reverse lay-up.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s put all this nonsense to rest and rank the four major MVP-contenders.

4. Chris Paul – PG, New Orleans Hornets

I wouldn’t recognize Chris Paul on the street if I saw him. Sorry, I just wouldn’t. Is he black? White? I don’t know. Since when the Hornets move from Charlotte anyway? Remember Larry Johnson? That guy was awesome.

From what I remember (research is for scientists) Paul is averaging something like 20 points, close to 10 assists and over 2 steals per game. That’s pretty good – Nash’s MVP seasons were better, but he’s the best PG in the NBA right now anyway, so that’s expected.

Paul’s team is first in the West, but only by like two games. That’s not good enough. They could even miss the playoffs! Sorry Chris, you just aren’t MVP material.

3. LeBron James – Entire team, Cleveland Cavaliers

James is putting up Oscar Robertson-type numbers - something like 30/8/8. His team just clinched the playoffs the other night. Putting up numbers like that and being fifth or sixth in the LEastern conference is not what MVPs do. Only ahead of Paul because I actually know what he looks like.

2. Kobe Bryant – G, Los Angeles Lakers

Finally, some teams that matter. Showtime is back in LA! Bryant is leading one of the NBA’s most storied franchises to the playoffs. The glare of the spotlight, the whispers of a possible trade and injuries to teammates - Bryant has dealt with it all while willing his team to victory.

So what if his numbers are worse than Paul’s or James’? Nobody cares about those guys. When teams come to the LA Forum, they know that Kobe could go for 100. His supporting cast is better? My foot. Paul Gasol? Maybe he’s a big wig in France, but here in US of A he ain’t nothin. Andrew Bynum? What? I have socks older than him. Everyone knows Kobe is the heart and soul of this team.

Jordan 2.0 would have the award sewn up if it weren’t for…

1. Kevin Garnett – PF, Boston Celtics

Celtic pride is back! If only Red were here (rest in peace) to see his team – his children – where they are now. Best team in the league, on pace for 60+ wins and blowing out teams nightly. What changed from the Green being the laughingstock of the league last year? Two words – KG.

You want numbers? How about 17. That’s the seventeenth banner the Celts are going to hang in the rafters – harkening back to the glory days of Bird, Parish, Russell and Cousy – if KG has anything to say about it.

His 20/10/5 numbers don’t even tell half the story. The guy is a straight-up winner. You can see – no, feel – the intensity the guy plays with every single night. Screaming after dunks, slapping teammates and cheering from the bench – that’s what an MVP does. The guy never takes a play off, does and says all the right things and, above all, is a winner. The MVP embodied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Preach brother