It has been well documented that this season in the NBA, the MVP voting is as close as ever. Should it go to Steve Nash again or should Kobe Bryant finally get the piece of hardware that has eluded him his entire career?
Should LeBron James get the MVP, with many more likely to come, or should Elton Brand for doing the unthinkable, bringing the Clippers into the playoffs?
And this list does not include all the other potential nominees, such as Chauencey Billups or Shawn Marion.
No matter how long the list is, or who people have a biased to, the MVP is obviously Nash.
I know Lakers fans, Bryant has had an incredible season, one that could be compared to the great Michael Jordan himself. I know, getting this Lakers team to the playoffs is supposed to be a great accomplishment and being only the fourth player to average at least 35 points per game is something incredible. Nash, however, is still more valuable.
Being the seventh seed in a league that admits half of the teams to the playoffs is not an incredible achievement. It just means that the Lakers had a mediocre season. If anything, Phil Jackson should win coach of the year for getting a team that lost 19 of its last 21 games last season into the playoffs.
Now, let’s all take a step back, remove your purple and gold glasses and look at this logically. The Phoenix Suns lost Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson to free agency. They also lost their best player. Amare Stoudemire to injury for basically this whole season, and yet, they are the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Nash made players like Raja Bell and Boris Diaw look like potential all-stars. Eddie House was a nobody before this season, yet now he is being mentioned for sixth man of the year. Nash’s job as the point guard is to get other players involved. By the numbers, he is doing his job well.
In the games that Nash did not play this season, the Suns looked lost. In a game recently where Nash did not play, the Lakers beat the Suns by 20. Granted, the Lakers needed the game to clinch a playoff berth, whereas the Suns had already clinched theirs, but Phoenix looked awful without Nash.
This is not to take anything away from Bryant having a great season. Scoring 81 points in a game is an incredible accomplishment and winning the scoring title is also impressive. But Bryant is not more valuable then Nash. The Lakers are a .500 team in the West, with no Stoudemire, Shaquille O’Neal, or a healthy Tim Duncan to compete with. They have one of the most athletic players in league in Lamar Odom and possibly the greatest coach with the greatest offensive system of all-time. And yet, they finished 45-37.
In some of the games that Bryant missed this season and last season, the Lakers won. Compare that to when the Suns did not have Nash, they did not win a game this year without him. You tell me who is more valuable.
Now if Stoudemire was healthy, and Kobe Bryant still had the year he did, then I would say he would be MVP because Nash would have had more help in Stoudemire. But when you are the seventh seed and are going be to be out of the playoffs at the beginning of May, how valuable can you be?
Justin Satzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.