I’d like to respond to Henry Meier’s analysis of the NBA’s MVP race last week. I thought it was an excellent article, although I have to disagree with his pick of Kobe over Kevin Garnett. Though you give great respect to both players and their teams, you fail to mention how this success came to be. While Kobe all but demanded a trade out of LA this summer, KG came to Boston and immediately transformed our expectations from “second round” to “title.”
So agrees James Posey, our invaluable four-position-playing sixth man, who signed shortly after for less money and when we needed a backup point guard at mid-season (given that Rajon Rondo is only 21) KG’s good-friend Sam Cassell hopped on board. P.J. followed quickly after for decent veteran big. While KG is the obvious catalyst for his team’s no. one seed, Kobe should get no credit for landing former Memphis Grizzlies all-star Pau Gasol in one of the most heinous salary dumps of all time. Grizzlies’ ownership is trying to sell the team and apparently feels that a low payroll is more enticing than talent to potential buyers.
This is the only logical reason Memphis GM Chris Wallace sent his top-three power forward to L.A. for absolute squat in the worst non-Isiah deal since he worked in Boston and traded for $70 million of Vin Baker’s bar tabs. Kobe’s MVP stock cannot therefore be so heavily influenced by mere luck, while KG’s value should include the contributions of all the players he has attracted to a team that went from the worst in the East to best in the league.
Although I think the choice is clear for MVP, I think your article will ultimately prove accurate. Kobe has been a national celebrity for a decade, is the second most marketed player in the league (to LeBron), and plays in a much bigger market that really only cares about the Lakers. Kobe really wants his first award and he’ll get it, but my vote goes to the guy who’ll be getting the Finals MVP come June.
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