The voting for
NBA most valuable player really only came down to two individuals,
Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. The media has let the word get out
that Steve Nash has won his second straight MVP. Nash would be only the
9th player in NBA history to win back to back MVP awards. That
list includes all current or future hall of famers Bill Russell,
(1961,1962,1963) Wilt Chamberlain, (1966,1967,1968) Kareem Abdul
Jabbar, (1971-72 & 1976-77) Moses Malone, (1982-1983) Larry Bird,
(1985,1986,1987) Magic Johnson, (1989-1990) Michael Jordan, (1991-1992)
and Tim Duncan (2002-2003). Nash would be the third guard to win
the award back to back behind Magic and Jordan, and the first point
guard to do so. Kobe Bryant has never won MVP.
As I watched the Lakers vs. Suns series I tried to determine who I
truly thought this year’s MVP really was. I should preface my
comments with the fact that I have never been a Kobe Bryant fan and
over the last few years and I have become less and less of a fan.
As a writer however, I have to be objective. Kobe was awesome
during the series, because he finally realized that in order to win a
series, he would be forced get help from his teammates. Raja Bell
played tough defense on Kobe all series long and instead of forcing
shots, he got Lamar Odom and Kwame Brown more involved.
Instead of the 35 points per game he averaged during the regular
season, he averaged less than 25 points per game in the playoffs with
the exception of the 50 point game 6 performance. The problem with the
Lakers is that nobody else was willing to step up in the crunch and
make a basket. In game six, when the game went into overtime,
Kobe was the only Laker to hit a basket in overtime. On the other
hand Steve Nash didn’t even have to attempt a shot in overtime.
He just ran the offense through Shawn Marion, Diaw, Bell, and others
they all stepped up and made big shots.
When trying to determine who should be the most valuable player for
2006 we have to look at the whole season. Neither team would have
made the playoffs without these two stars; Kobe and Nash are
irreplaceable for their teams. Now let’s take it a step
further, could LA have made the playoffs had they lost Lamar Odom for
the season? I don’t think so, that is why Steve Nash is the odds
on favorite. Nash had to orchestrate this entire playoff run with
their most talented player out with injury. Amire Stoudamire
missed almost the entire season with the exception of a few games
because of an injury. Through all of that, Nash averaged just
under 20 points per game led the league in free throw percentage and
was the only player in the league to average more than 10 assists per
Some of the performances Kobe put on this year were beyond amazing, the
81 point game, the streak of 40 point games, and the multiple 50 point
games. The problem is, the players around him didn’t get better
because of him and that is what truly makes a great player.
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson all made their teammates
better. Steve Nash may not be on their level yet, but he surely
makes everyone around him better. With that being said, Steve
Nash gets my vote for League MVP.