Kobe Bryant: Why There Is Only 1 MVP Award That Really Matters

ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler was recently discussing the Los Angeles Lakers' 15-1 record since the All-Star break on SportsCenter, and his conversation eventually shifted to the reasons for the Lakers' success since that point.

Legler mentioned the improved play of Andrew Bynum, and the manner in which forward Ron Artest has asserted himself, but he finally settled on the play of star guard Kobe Bryant as the major reason the Lakers have looked like the NBA's top team in recent weeks.

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose's name has already been etched on the league's MVP award as Legler noted, but he also made the observation that Bryant was just as worthy a candidate as Rose.

If that sounds familiar, it's probably because Bryant has finished nearly every season in the past decade as a finalist for the MVP award, but he has only managed to capture the trophy once.

Legler thinks it's just a case of voter fatigue, or in other words, the people who make the decision are so used to Bryant performing at a high level that he is overlooked when it comes time to name the league's MVP.

As Legler said, how else can you explain Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal owning a total of nine NBA championships between them and only two combined MVP awards, while a player like Steve Nash has two alone?

LeBron James may have been an exception the past two seasons, but rarely is the NBA's best player awarded the MVP trophy, and there is no clear criteria as to how the voters make their selections.

So fans are usually treated to an over-blown popularity contest that rewards the best player from the team that has exceeded most people's expectations.

That description fits Rose because few people predicted that the Bulls would be the Eastern Conference's top team at this point, and Rose justly deserves the credit for carrying Chicago to the top of the standings.


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