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It’s a shame that only one guy can win the MVP award because all the candidates this year have been nothing short of amazing. Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics has had a phenomenal year in leading Boston to the biggest turnaround in NBA History. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has had one of the best statistical seasons in recent memory with 30 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 7.2 APG. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets has quitely become the NBA’s top point guard while leading the Hornets to the second seed in the Western Conference. However, one player, has stood out from the rest and solidified himself as this year most valuable player, number twenty-four of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the end, I went with Kobe Bryant because of the way he elevated his teammates and carried the team through injuries to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. In previous seasons, Kobe was virtually unstoppable one on one with 81 points scoring outsbursts and consecutive fifty point games. However, this year he has taken fewer shots, which has increased his efficiency and has allowed role players (Sasha Vujacic, Jordan Farmar, Ronny Turiaf, Vladimir Radmonovic, etc.) to flourish in Phil’s triangle offseason. In the past seasons, Kobe was unable to trust his teammates and therefore, took the majority of shots himself. By playing more conservatively on offense, Kobe has also become more dominant when he does shoot. With a shooting percentage near fifty percent, Kobe is taking better shots and still hitting the tough ones down the stretch.
Unlike the Paul’s New Orleans Hornets or KG’s Boston Celtics, Kobe’s Lakers have had to deal with an enormous amoutn of injuries. Double-double machine Andrew Bynum has missed over half the season with an ankle injury and Pau Gasol was in Memphis from November to February. Even with the move to Los Angeles, Gasol still missed a few weeks with a sprained ankle. Even in their absences, Kobe never lost faith in his teammates, making a great leader and certain MVP.
Bryant has been the game’s best all-around player since Michael Jordan departed some years ago, yet he has never finished higher than third in the MVP race. This is the year he proved that he should be the NBA’s most valuable player.