After word leaked that Steve Nash had won the MVP, Dime Mag went a little postal.
...we here at Dime think it's absurd. The fact that Steve Nash won the award isn't the problem. The problem is that Kobe Bryant didn't win it. Honestly, what more could Kobe have done this season to win the MVP? It's a joke. And what makes the whole thing even more outrageous is that his losing out is clearly personal. To be blunt, he didn't win it because the people with the votes just don't like him. And that's a shame.
I totally understand where there coming from. By the measure of "ideal basketball player" we all have in our heads, Kobe Bryant is it.
And, yes, Kobe Bryant has got himself a whopper of a bad reputation.
But I don't think Nash won--assuming he really did--just because the voters don't like Kobe. Maybe that accounts for a vote here or there, we'll never know.
But there are some other factors. For one thing, the Lakers are a so-so team, and a lot of people just won't select an MVP from a so-so team. That makes some sense. The ultimate job of all players is to win, and if they're not doing that, how can they be the most valuable? Maybe what they're bringing--no matter how spectacular--isn't what the team needed.
Plenty of voters start their selection process by first asking "OK, who are the championship contenders?" Those are the valuable teams. Those are the players who are doing everything right. And sometimes doing everything right means something you can't see on a highlight reel. Sometimes it means calling a teammate late at night, learning better where someone likes to catch a pass, building confidence in the coach, or mentoring a teammate. That list could be a thousand items long, and you won't see any of it on SportsCenter. But over the long haul, I believe that teams doing that stuff tend to win.
Look at the other MVP candidates: they're from a who's who of the good teams. Detroit, Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix. Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker on losing teams don't even get mentioned. But they're making their teams good, so they both got votes. I see the point of that. That makes sense to me.
For an MVP candidate to come from a middle-of-the-road team is just hard. Kobe Bryant has a knock against him before the assessment even begins, because the Lakers are not contenders.
Then there is the fact that, my personal feelings aside, Kobe Bryant has personality flaws that inhibit his team's success. He's incredibly--no maniacally--self-centered. None of us are perfect. But that counts against him. That inhibits his ability to do what he's supposed to do, which is win games. You can say all you want about if Bryant had Nash's supporting cast he'd do x, y, and z. The fact is Bryant used to have a way better supporting cast than Nash has ever had, but for some reason that team couldn't get along, and everyone was sent packing.
If Nash and Bryant switched places, Bryant would no doubt to spectacular things in Phoenix. But Nash would still be winning titles with Shaquille O'Neal, because he knows how to be a good teammate.
You tell me who's more valuable