Kobe Bryant and 5 Other Long-Shots to Win the 2011 NBA MVP

For the first time since Dirk Nowitzki won the NBA MVP award in 2006-07, the season's best player doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

With players moving around at the blink of an eye, many teams have multiple stars. Teams with players splitting stats and glory have a hard time boasting a serious MVP candidate.

The MVP award used to be primarily won by centers, but recently the league's guards have been stealing the show. There is a lack of overwhelming big men in the league.

Dwight Howard is currently the league's most renowned post player, taking over the distinction from the likes of Tim Duncan and Shaquille O'Neal. Players like Blake Griffin and Kevin Love are trying to return spunk at the position to pick up the slack for the oft-injured Yao Ming and Greg Oden.

Of the seven active players to have won the award, two still made my list despite having seasons below their usual standards.

Here are some MVP candidates that aren't garnering the attention players like Howard and Derrick Rose are, but still have a case for the award.

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