Kobe Bryant is the 2010 NBA Finals MVP for a Reason

Los Angeles Laker guard Kobe Bryant won his second straight NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after averaging 28.6 points, eight rebounds, and almost four assists in the Lakers’ series win over the Boston Celtics.

The award is certainly not without controversy. First of all, after shooting 40 percent for the series, Bryant’s performance was not his most valuable finals performance. In 2009, Bryant averaged 32.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists against the Orlando Magic.

Bryant was not at his best in this series and it was certainly not his best NBA Finals. But except for the 2008 Celtics and the 2004 Detroit Pistons, whom Bryant faced with a depleted Lakers squad, these 2010 Celtics are the toughest team he’s played in an NBA Finals.

Despite his less than great performance, Bryant won the award for three key reasons. One, he is the best player on his team, if not the world. Without him, the Lakers aren’t in the finals and without him, they don’t win.

The second reason: by default. No one on either team did any better. Pau Gasol had a great series and both Ron Artest and Derek Fisher made huge contributions in some games and at key moments. But no one matched Bryant’s effort or intensity over seven games.

The third reason: Bryant is the 2010 NBA Finals MVP because he deserves to be. Look at the numbers and remember the games, not just the shots. Then decide. You don’t have to agree with me, but if you think I’m wrong you do have to reason with me.

Bryant impacts every game, good or bad, win or lose. Despite what some may say, Bryant didn’t only play well when the Lakers lost and the Lakers didn’t win only when Bryant underperformed.

Here’s a quick recap of Bryant’s performance in the series:

Game one: Bryant had a 30-point game on 45 percent shooting, went nine of 10 from the line...

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