Friday Fire 2: Is Kobe Bryant the NBA Midseason MVP?

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Top Four?

In our Eastern Conference Preview, I predicted Kevin Garnett would be MVP. No flip flopping here, so I have to stick with my choice even though Kobe most likely has a stranglehold on the award. There are many deserving candidates and this season is shaping up as one of the most competitive in recent memory.

Who ya got?

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60 Responses to “Friday Fire 2: Is Kobe Bryant the NBA Midseason MVP?”

  1. James. The numbers speak for themselves. His presence means more to his team than any other player in the league.

  2. [...] mizzo wrote a fantastic post today on “Friday Fire 2: Is Kobe Bryant the NBA Midseason MVP?”Here’s ONLY a quick extractTop Four? In our Eastern Conference Preview, I said Kevin Garnett would be MVP. No flip flopping here, so I have to stick with my choice even though my vote would be Kobe Bryant. There are many candidates out there and this season … [...]

  3. I say my MVP is Lebron or Kobe. The media will give it to Garnett because of the turnaround they have had. They won’t give it to lebron because they cheat him out of an MVP every year. They won’t give it to Kobe because they are still upset about the whole colorado hotel thing.

    Shame how Kobe and Lebron have deserved the last 2 MVPs. And neither one will win it this year.

    Can someone please explain how in the world the media votes for the MVP?

    Thats like getting investment advice from the wine-o on the street.

  4. thebrotherreport Says:

    I’ll go with Chris Paul, it probably wouldn’t happen this way but he’s got Peja back and they’re first in arguably the NBA’a toughest division.

  5. GrandNubian Says:

    Let me start by saying that i picked Kobe at the beginning of the NBA season to win it. But looking at what KG & Chris Paul have done thus far, i don’t think there is a ‘clear-cut’ winner. But i may have to give the edge to KG and what he has done with the Celtics so far.

  6. thebrotherreport I had totally forgot about Chris Paul.

    Yeah Lebron, Chris Paul and kobe all deserve it.

  7. thebrotherreport Says:

    I like the way that team is put together. Other than Paul – you have a shooter in Peja a rebounding machine in Tyson Chandler and the inside presence in David West. I thought coming in that West would be undersized because he was more of tweener coming out of Xavier but he’s dropped the weight and is a 20/10 player. He deserves some All-Star consideration IMO.

  8. I have a Chris Paul feature in the next SLAM (drops Feb 5) where Chris and his brother allude to the origin of his determination. I hope you all enjoy.

  9. Kobe Bryant. Without a doubt. He finally seems to “get it” after all of these years. He’s not scoring quite as much, and is finally seeming to trust some of the guys around him, even though he wanted out over the summer. I think KG will win it though, just b/c of the way the announcers always mention him when they say MVP. He’s having a great first half of the season, but we’ll see the second half…

  10. I honestly think this award should be given out at the end of the season. After the playoffs. Maybe it would be a good idea to hold the all star game after everything is over too, so we could maybe see a real game. But to the question at hand…

    I think it really depends on who wins the championship. If the Lakers were to win, Kobe would be considered. Even though some may argue that Bynum (sp?) has made himself as important to that team as Kobe.

    I’m a Denver fan and right now I feel that Marcus Camby may be just as important if not more important to his team than any other player. Without him Denver wont win jack. He does all the work, PLUS he can score. In the last two weeks he’s had two games with more than 20 boards and 5 blocks. Almost getting the triple double twice. He’s the only player who truly plays defense on that team. I’m not naive enough to say he would win it….but I think if Denver was as successful as they can be, he should be the MVP.

  11. I disagree with that idea Cevidence. Because then you have a situation where a guy can lose an award he earned over a full season purely by the virtue of a bad series.

  12. Okori, then he’s not the MVP is he?

  13. thebrotherreport Says:

    I’ll throw in another dark horse – Dwight Howard his team is also leading their division and they’ve beaten Houston, Detroit and Boston. And at 22/15 may be the best center in the game right now

  14. I say KG. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have also done well, but KG gave Boston that something, and he has something to prove, too. I am a Miami Heat/Shaq fan, so I haven’t been too happy with the NBA this year.

  15. True thebrotherreport Dwight howard deserves votes also. And he is the best center in the game. If you list Duncan as a PF.

  16. thebrotherreport Says:

    Ok, ok one more guy. If Portland keeps playing as well as they are you’re gonna hear Brandon Roy’s name. They’re a 1/2 game behind Denver for the lead in that division.

  17. ok Mizzo here is why we disagree: If you gave the MVP after the playoffs the guys who drag their teams kicking and screaming to a level they couldn’t reach on their own get penalized for poor postseason success. Beside it’s a more accurate barometer over 82 games than it is over 7. Anyone can have a bad 4 games. Unless Mizzo you are arguing for transcendence for the whole year. Then we’re different.

    I think it’s Howard, Roy, Paul, and Garnett for MVP. and Caron Butler for MIP no doubt.

  18. Of course the entire year should come into play. There have been few MVP’s that haven’t led their teams deep in the playoffs. Nash being the most glaring example.

    How are you seriously going to exclude KB24?

  19. Because Kobe is sitting at 4-A. And if the blazers slow down I could switch say… Roy out and put Kobe in. It’s a fluid list.

    the difference is I think of the whole year as being the regular season. the postseason is something different. What I would do is have a regular season MVP (the Chamberlain award) and the Post-Season MVP (The Russell Award)

  20. Damn that’s hot.

    Gotta go with Kobe. Dude is well overdue.

  21. thebrotherreport Says:

    Wow, you just slapped Wilt down to my size – LOL! I could be wrong but I’m reading between the lines on this Wilt was good in the regular season but Russell was great when it counted. Hence the naming of the awards.

  22. thebrotherreport Says:

    Don’t let Sonny Hill find out Wilt has anything less than what Russell has, he’ll have a fit.

  23. no. the naming of the awards was like this: Chamberlain had some of the finest individual seasons anyone has ever had. But Russell won 11 chips. So you split the baby and reward one guy for regular season success and the other guy for post-season success. and eventually someone (LeBron perhaps) might hit the treble: Pettit Award (ASG MVP), Chamberlain, Russell. Then he’ll have done something.

  24. LOL you ain’t lyin’ bruh! Dude is so connected though. Seems like every team Philly plays has a Philly cat on their roster that is close with Sonny. Godfather of Philly basketball for sho.

  25. thebrotherreport Says:

    O – I hear you and Mizzo hears you but Sonny will have no parts of it. Dude you would think he carried Wilt’s kid or something.

  26. Kevdog must be out of town. Otherwise he’d have this thread locked up for Kobe.

  27. well helll… name it the Maravich award.

  28. thebrotherreport Says:

    No man, I like the idea, just warning you about Sonny Hill.

  29. Cevidence Says:

    Okori…you’re right 82 games is more a barometer than a 7 game series…but 89 games is a good barometer as well. Use the WHOLE season…post season included, not one over the other.

  30. I’ll speak for Kevdog it’s KOOOOBBBBEEEE then Chris Paul a close second.

  31. Me think you’ve got to have two awards. Regular season and post season. There are guys on average teams, that will do everything in their power to get their team into the post season, but will not have much of a chance of winning the championship. Think of Iverson, Malone before Philly, McAdoo, and I’m sure others in the future. We can’t penalize the one man wrecking crew, just because he don’t go far into the playoffs.

    The post season award is for those that deliver the goods, that’s a whole different season on to itself. If you had to give that award a name, it would have to the the Jordan, he never lost a finals.. Don’t think he ever went seven games in the finals.

    As far as the original question, midseason MVP.. I love Cris Paul, but it’s Kobe’s time!

  32. I agree with Imhotep.

  33. I think every situation is different. There are players who make their teammates better. Then there are one man shows. I still can’t figure out what happens to teams when T-Mac comes on board. I think he’s a great player but he doesn’t appear to make his teammates better. I could be wrong. Some guys are blessed with talent around them from jump. Others are blessed with good talent and a great coach. I’t really the luck of the draw. Take for instance Chauncey B. he’s been on like 5 teams before becoming an all-star in Detroit. Was it his game or the lack of coaching and talent around him? Then you have guys like C-webb, the Kings were the worst team in the league before he got there. In one year they were in the playoffs and continued to get better until the knee injury halted everything. His game made his teammates better. Tim Duncan’s game makes his teammates better and they have a great coach. Now take Shaq power impact player but from day one he has played with the best guards in the nba(Penny,Kobe and Wade) not to mention Phil. Remember the Lakers even with Kobe and Shaq didn’t win a tiltle until Phil got to LA. Would Shaq as good as he has been have a title if he landed in Atlanta? This is the type of conversation I like to have about sports. Many great players come and go. We debate who is better than the other. But I think in many cases it’s the hand they are delt. Yes, the great ones will always do their thing but titles depend on much more than that. Like the coach and teams they end up with. Look at Randy Moss in football. Great receiver but again it’s the luck of the draw. He was rolling in MN then Dante’s injurys became a problem and it was onto the Raiders. Disaster! Now he’s on the Pats and a title is in his grasp. Players respond differently in every situation. They are human and if a situation is bad then it goes from bad to horrible in 60 seconds. Now look at KG Boston he’s lovin every minute of this after years of basement basketball in MN.

  34. Michelle, I agree with much of what you say, especially the thing about the luck of the draw. ChaunceyB, should have never been traded form the Twolves. His luck of the draw (aside from being good) was having a G.M. that believed in him and looked like him, and at one time played the same position.

    To me Phil Jackson is the untimatle luck of the draw guy. He has been blessed with not only the once in a decade player, but the once in a generation guy. And he did not have to motivate them. Mike came self motivated, Kobe & Scottie came self motivated, Shaq came.. forget it. All Phil had to do was stay out the way, and not fall alseep on the bench. Tex coached the offense, and Mike and Scottie were out there racking up defensive honors. And later Kobe. So Phil has 9 rings, but had the MVP 7 times and the runner probably another 4 times. I would say Phil has had the luck of the draw.

    I must disagree with you on Shaq, I think this brother has been under appreciated. We have not seen his kind of low post dominance in 20+ years. He really was a diesel at one time. As far as he having the best guards, well, while he was being double teamed sometimes triple teamed, his guards got to run around on the perimiter and develop their one on one skills. IMO, it is he that made them better, not the other way around. Let’s keep in mind that Kobe first two years in the league he came off the bench, and not necessairly the 6th man either, so he was not much help to Shaq then.

    Af far as T-Mac, if he and Yao can’t win a title,, that don’t say much for his resume. If Kobe had Yao, they would already have had a parade.

  35. Imhotep,

    I think if Shaq was on the current Lakers they would not be nearly as good as they are now. Even if you take off a couple of years. Without D-Wade they wouldn’t have a title in Miami. But again it’s the entire team. I don’t think one player being great wins you anything. Including Shaq. I actually think some of his moves are offensive fouls. Funny he’s not getting those calls anymore because David Stern no longer needs him to sell his product. Now I’m not saying he hasn’t been a great center but check the rule book. Lowering your shoulder into your opponents chest and elbowing him is an offensive foul. At least it is for everyone else. Just ask Mutumbo. I put about 5 centers above Shaq in NBA history because of the obvious bias calls that the refs no longer give him. No one is curious about that?

  36. Michelle, sista, calls go to those that bring in the revenue, and Shaq ain’t doing that no mo’. He is not bringing in revenue for the league or for the heat, so in the eyes of the ref’s he has lost value, hence he stays in foul trouble. LaBron, Kobe, they get calls (protection from the refs), they bring in the money. Any moment Brandon Roy & Chris Paul will start to get calls, future earners for the league.

    Five centers above Shaq, wow, I can only think of two. We’ll get into that at some point down the road on another tread.

  37. clowntooth Says:

    dirk nowitzki was the worst mvp in many years. nash shouldn’t have won two, and his last season was actually better than the two mvp years — but i’m canadian, so i have to say he deserved one somewhere. kevin garnett is not the mvp this year! this is for the same reason that shaq wasn’t the year nash won his first (not to say duncan or somebody else shouldn’t have won it). it’s his worst year statistically in years, his minutes played are way down, and his game is a team game that defers on offense to allen and pierce. and he’s not even the dominant defensive presence of a camby or howard. the nba mvp vote is cursed in being tied to the team with the best regular season record — there should be no question about that. the voters are just playing the odds by choosing the guy with the best chance of winning the championship based on the team’s prior success. either truly honor regular season performance regardless of team success (by that rule kobe’s 81 point game alone should have got him the mvp over nash) or award it after looking at the playoffs as well. the overall mvp need not go to the playoff mvp. considering the playoffs last year, lebron should have won the mvp. his game isn’t as complete or stunning to watch as kobe’s, but his dominance when driving through the lane is unmatched in any era. give him some teammates and see what he can do — i can’t wait until larry hughes’s terrible contract is off the books!

  38. Kobe Bean Bryant is hands down the MVP of the league and hopefully he can get the votes this year.

  39. Imhotep,

    I understand your point but unlike the other players mentioned, Shaq’s offensive fouls and traveling was common in every game. Also unless he was within 5ft of the basket he was not a threat to score. His skill consisted of bumping, elbowing and pushing to gain position. He then had a crafty spin move an dunked on folks. That’s it all the time. The lowering of the shoulder and elbow move are offensive fouls. He did this every game. At least if Mj or Kobe pushed off they still had to make the jumper. They wouldn’t do it multiple times during the game either. I feel Kobe’s pain he deserved at least one of the finals mvp awards. Shaq was just running people over. This isn’t wrestling it’s basketball. Like I said there are at least 5 centers more talented then him.

  40. Imhotep here are the 5 Centers above Shaq: Chamberlain, Russell, Malone, Jabbar, Olajuwon.

  41. and my choice for MVP: Howard, James, Roy, Paul, Garnett

  42. okori, I’m sure you can make a strong case for all the players you named, and they are all legendary in their own rights. But I can only put two above Shaq, and they would be Wilt and kareem.

    I think as we view Shaq in his declining years, we tend to forget that not too long ago Shaq dominated the paint on the offensive end. The game has never seen a big man (with the exception of Wilt) with his combination of athleticism and power. Shaq more that any of the other centers that you named, had the ability to get the opponent in early foul trouble and to get the opposition post defender in early foul trouble.

    Now, it’s not like I’m a big time Shaq fan, I just recognize his greatness and dominance while at his peak. Yea, he did not show up to traning camp in shape, he would not take care of his injuries during the off season, and early in his career he was more interested in his entertainment career that his playing career. And God knows, don’t ask him to defend the pick and roll. The Brotha would rather endure the waterboard torture in Guantanamo, than defend the pick and roll.

    At the height of their collective careers, there are only two centers that I would take over Shaq, and even then it’s debatable.

  43. No offense Okori, but your MVP choice has no credibility without Kobe in the top five.

  44. Imotep,

    Also for Shaq’s obvious size advantage he should have been a better rebounder. He should have averaged 13 boards per game in his prime.

  45. Michelle, I agree, the Brotha should’ve led the league in boards and or block shots at some point in his career. He did not bring that energy to the defensive end of the court. If he did, he would be the number 1 center of all times, without debate.

  46. IMhotep,

    I left out the blocked shots. I agree with you there.

  47. Yes thats true Michelle he should have rebounded more. But this can be extended to many other players as well. Dirk is a 7 foot PF and gets only 10 rebounds a game. He rarely is asked to guard anyone at his position and he is usually bigger then his opponent.

    You have Yao who is that big as he11………..and I don’t want to hear any thing about he isn’t athletic enough. Mark Eaton avg 8 rebounds a game and played next to one of the greatest scoring and rebounding PFs ever. He11 oakley feet were cemented to the floor and that dude rebounded his but off next to Ewing. Yao plays next to garbage PFs. He should get 12 rebounds a game period.

    If my boy Kaman can get 12 a game with no Brand. Why can’t yao get the same with trash at PF. Like shaq, Yao has rebound itis. Yao rarley blocks out his man when getting rebounds.

  48. Imhotep says

    “Michelle, sista, calls go to those that bring in the revenue, and Shaq ain’t doing that no mo’. He is not bringing in revenue for the league or for the heat, so in the eyes of the ref’s he has lost value, hence he stays in foul trouble. LaBron, Kobe, they get calls (protection from the refs), they bring in the money. Any moment Brandon Roy & Chris Paul will start to get calls, future earners for the league.”

    So true.

    As players get older and new stars are brought along. This always happens.

    You can look at the calls Kobe use to get and the ones he gets know.

    Sista Michelle are you still upset that the lakers knocked out the Kings year after year…………I sense some bitterness with this shaq thing……LOL!!!!

  49. Michelle also remember that My boy Hakeem was allowed to have 2 pivot feet when doing his dream shake. Hakeem is one of the biggest traveling Centers to ever play this game.

    Remember Ewings patent 3 or 4 step hop when dring across the lane for a fade away.

  50. Man don’t get the Sacramento Queen started ;)

  51. HAHA………..mizzo………I’m gonna tell erica dampier on you.

  52. I’m crying foul. Rules are rules and they should be enforced. If certain players are afforded additional advantange over other players then all the record books are BS. Shaq was like a bull in a china shop that’s why I mentioned him. How hard is it to knock someone out the way and dunk on them? The other players mentioned still had to make a jumper or hook shot. No skill at all is required in knocking people over that are smaller than you even I can do that.

  53. Origin,
    Hell yeah I’m bitter they cheated. The Kings didn’t even have their second leading scorer. It takes years or losing to be able to compete with a verteran powerhouse team like that and when the Kings finally had enough years together under their belt the refs helped the Lakers. Then Webb tore up his knee. Like I said Shaq had it made from jump. Good coaches skilled vets and upcoming allstar guards. It’s almost not fair. He’s never had to fight and claw until now. Injured star guard and very average teammates. If he were in his prime that team still would not be championship caliber. Welcome to the real world Shaq 15 losses and counting. Ha, Ha. I also think he’s a jerk the media has painted him as this caring wonderful person our kids to look up to. Again, HA, Ha what a joke. All I can say is do your homework people before you buy your kid that jersey. Nothing can be further from the truth. Like I said Kobe should have been given much more credit for the Lakers success. I know the Kings would want to deal with Shaq all day. It was Kobe who gave them fits. Definately at the end of games. I remember the game Kobe had food poisioning. The Kings went on that ass. Shaq wasn’t a factor. He played his usual bully game and got his points but at the end of the game it was sick Kobe keeping them alive. Shaq missed an easy hook shot. REMEMBER I DO!

  54. Sorry Origin. I left words out as usual but you know what I mean.

  55. thebrotherreport Says:

    I thought Bibby and Martin were both back.

  56. thebrotherreport Says:

    Oh my bad you’re talking about another season.

  57. TBR,

    I was talking about the old Kings. Yes, this years Kings now have Martin and Bibby on the floor.

  58. Origin,

    Also remember that was the same Lakers team that in previous years swept the Spurs, beating them by I think like 20 to 30 points a game in the playoffs.

  59. kobe definently because he is still young and he does good what other contestant scored 81 pionts in won game

  60. Kevin Garnett because he sacrificed stats and the Celts aren’t good without KG in the lineup, as you saw yesterday in Orlando.

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