Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I've been watching a lot of NBA Fastbreak over the past few weeks. It helps me fall asleep actually. Recently, the pundits have been talking about who should win the MVP award. All of them (besides John Hollinger) have not wavered in their answer. Their MVP is Kobe Rapist. Today, I explain to you why this is so completely asinine and make my case (I don't really need to, his play speaks for itself) as to why LeBron James should be the unanimous choice for the most VALUABLE player in the NBA. So fuck you, Ric Bucher and Marc Stein, it's time to make you look like idiots. But you don't really need my help.
Let's look at strictly the numbers right now. Our King, and this does not count his amazing 50 point, 10 assist, and 8 board performance last night in which he received a standing ovation at Madison Square Garden, is averaging 30.3 ppg on .486 shooting. Might as well remind you of his 8.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.96 steals, and a block per game. Kobe the Raper, in contrast, is averaging 28.3 ppg on .464 shooting; 6.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.94 steals, and .54 blocks per game. As you can see, in 6 major categories, LeBron is superior in all of them.
But it's more than just numbers here and that's what the mainstream media is clinging to. They believe that Kobe should win the award since the Lakers are the best team in the better conference while the Cavs have struggled through parts of the season (mostly due to having numerous crippling injuries to solid rotation guys). They also say that Kobe is the best overall player in the league because of his excellence on offense and defense. I've also heard an argument that he just has "that look in his eye" this season and the killer instinct is back again. Kobe can and will take over games when necessary. My point here is, is this any different than what LeBron has done this year? If I needed someone to take a game-winning shot, I would take Kobe. I will admit that. But if I needed one person to handle the ball with 10 seconds left in a tie game, I want The King. He just always makes the right decision and won't force a shot if it's not there. Besides the records, how is one held on a pedestal and the other just a footnote? The title of the award is the most VALUABLE player, not the best player on the best team. There is a huge difference that I don't think these morons truly grasp.
In case you hadn't noticed, the Lakers roster is fantastic. When you add in a coach that knows how to win, shouldn't they be 43-18? The only injury that they've had to deal with is Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol has more than made up for that loss. On the other hand, LeBron has missed 6.5 games, all losses, which clearly shows how awful his teammates are and how VALUABLE he is to the success of the Cavaliers. And even when the King is on the court, his supporting cast has been decimated by injury this entire season. You could argue that, throughout the past season and a half, LeBron is the most comfortable with Boobie, Z, and Varejao. Now I don't have the actual number in front of me, but do you know how many games all 4 of those guys have played together in this year? My guess is around 10-15 out of 60. One of LeBron's most relied-upon teammates have been out for almost all of the season. The lineup is constantly in flux yet the King still wins games. Would Kobe be able to handle that? It's debatable but I guarantee that he would bitch about it because he's a spoiled cunt. LeBron just considers it another challenge. Even currently, would Kobe accept a starting lineup of Delonte, Devin Brown, Big Ben, and Andy? Hell no, he'd cry to the media about how he has no help.
Now let's take a closer look at that record. The Lakers are 43-18 and second in the West by percentage points. The Cavaliers are 35-26 and 4th in the East. Now, since this is about who is the most valuable player in the league, let's subtract 6 losses for the Cavs since they have no shot to win when Bron is out. That puts the Cavs at 35-20 when LeBron is on the floor. And while Kobe had to deal with Kwame Brown for awhile, it pales in comparison to The King sharing the floor with the shittiness of Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes for 40+ games. When you add all of that together, which record is more impressive? It's at least even.
If that didn't do anything for you, let's look at the two head-to-head matchups between the Lakers and Cavaliers this season. The Cavs SWEPT the Lakers. In the first game, in Cleveland, the Cavs won 94-90. Kobe put up 21/5/5 while LeBron went for 33/10/5. In the second contest at Staples, Cleveland went into Kobe's house and came away with a 98-95 nationally televised victory. Kobe went for 33/12/6 while LeBron posted a 41/9/4. Keep in mind, the defensive master which is Kobe the Rapist tried to defend Bron in the 4th quarter of both games. And as I said, the Cavs gutted out wins in both. Our King has averaged 37 points against the Lake Show this season. And I'm supposed to believe that Eagle County's favorite son is the MVP? If Kobe was more valuable to his team, shouldn't they have won at least one of those games?
And why should Kobe get the award anyway? It's no secret (because ESPN beat us over the head with the story) that Kobe demanded to be traded in the offseason and even said that he will never play for the Lakers again. Yet now we are supposed to believe that he is a great character guy who elevates the play of his teammates? Fuck that, the guy is scum. He was wrong to put himself above his team in the summer and is fooling no one with the act he's putting on now. He is a baby. On the contrary, LeBron is as unselfish as it gets. It would have been easy for him to blast Cavs management for standing pat this offseason. But what did he do? He said that the current Cavs team was good enough to get back to the Finals and win. Yes, he did say that it would be nice to play with Jason Kidd but it was never demanded that Danny Ferry HAD to go get him. He is a team player that makes all of his teammates better. A role model for kids regarding how team basketball should be played. Kobe is being paid a ton of money to play a kid's game, be a man. You don't piss and moan when you don't get what you want. You go out and give your all no matter what hand you're dealt. If you are good enough, you can overcome any number of Larry Hughes' missed 19 footers.
One more thing...let's take both Kobe and LeBron off of their teams. The Lakers are likely fighting for that final playoff spot. They are still a pretty good team. The Cavaliers on the other hand, without their superstar, would be fighting with the Heat for the title of worst team in the East. Seriously, the Cavs have no one else who can create and it would be a miracle if they ever broke 100 points in a game. Hell, they lost to the SONICS without LeBron.
I don't know what more there is to say really. I think I've outlined my case quite eloquently and have no idea how any MVP voter can think differently. LeBron James is the most VALUABLE player in the NBA...there is no doubt about it. Sorry, Kobe, maybe next year.