Bill Simmon's MVP Article and My Rebuttal (Warning Very Long)

jibikao

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Of all the teams, Lakers has the 2nd worst inside game. All they have is Kwame, who Phil said is the "featured" player in 1 round. I don't think any playoff is going to be easy but to say it out loud that Lakers can win is just a bit silly.

Hell, I even felt uncomfortable last season against the Griz until they melt down.


You know what's funny? I think most Suns fans feel more "uneasy" with the lineup we have now than the fact that Lakers seem so "intimidating". Lakers is NOT at that level yet. Spurs intimidates me, however.
 
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nowagimp

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Bill Simmons picked Desagna Diop as the most improved player in the NBA this year. This choice alone tells you alot about Bill, he's on his own little planet, far away from any kind of civilization.
 

Arizona's Finest

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Great article by the usually bull-headed Bayless (we'll give him a pass after this well thought out article;) )

By Skip Bayless
Page 2



For most of this NBA season, you heard almost nothing but resigned MVP sighs from analysts and columnists: "Well, it looks like you have to give it to Steve Nash again."

But a month or so ago, you began to hear another ball start rolling: Dwyane Wade's. Then D-Wade's deflated and here came Dirk Nowitzki's.

Then Dirk's was suddenly dwarfed by LeBron's! Remember? Just two weeks ago you kept hearing, "That's it. LeBron James has to be MVP."

But now the giant bowling ball you hear thundering down the lane toward the MVP pins is … Kobe's!


Over the last four days, you heard several analysts on ESPN and TNT make a case-closed case for Kobe Bryant. You read a number of NBA columnists and beat writers joining the Kobe chorus. And you figure Kobe clinched it when Page 2's Bill Simmons, who knows his NBA as astutely as he does his sports movies, forgave and forgot and gave his MVP to the player who flew like an Eagle this season.


I'm a big fan of Kobe the basketball player. Was before all that ugly business in Eagle, Colo. Remained so even after Kobe ratted out Shaq to the investigators.


No doubt Kobe proved to be the most talented and driven player on the planet this season. But the most valuable?

Only if basketball games are won by the team with the highest scorer.


That's why, I suppose, Kobe has beaten Steve Nash 81-0 in the MVP race.


Kobe, of course, went Terrell Owens on the Toronto Raptors, scoring 81, mostly on jump shots. This would have been astonishing even if the Raptors had played H.O.R.S.E defense, which was pretty much all they played. It was tough to tell who was more mesmerized by this Jan. 22 performance at Staples, Jack Nicholson or the Raptors.


Then on March 27 at New Jersey, Nash disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa. Five shots, zero makes. Zero free-throw attempts. Zero points.

The Nets led by 19 at the half on the way to a 110-72 wipeout. And voters finally had their excuse. That was the end of the "Nash again" talk. No way was this Nash Rambler going to win a second straight MVP with a goose egg on his résumé.


But he should.


In fact, big picture, that game should strengthen Nash's MVP case. Before the season started, a lot of analysts and columnists expected Nash's Suns to suffer some blowout road losses -- especially against teams that had won eight in a row, as the Nets had. After all, the Suns had lost Amare Stoudemire to injury and Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson to free agency. Heck, by March 27, they had lost their only legitimate post defender, Kurt Thomas, who wound up playing only 53 games.


And Nash's Suns have won 53 games and the Pacific Division! They're the 53-28 second seed in the still-tougher Western Conference! If they hadn't clinched so early, and Nash hadn't rested his battered body of late, they would have come even closer to last year's NBA-best 62-20 record!


I'm sorry, but Nash's 53 wins are even more astonishing than Kobe's 81.

Nash didn't play Sunday against Kobe's team at Staples. Kobe's team leaped to a 16-1 lead and won easily. Kobe, MVP? Wait a second, with Nash, the Suns won the season's first three games against Kobe's seventh-seeded Lakers.


Case closed … for Nash.


For the record, I picked Kobe's team to make the playoffs. I did not pick Nash's. Honestly, did you? I couldn't imagine how, even with Shawn Marion, Nash's team could finish even .500 with Raja Bell and Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa and Eddie House and James Jones playing significant minutes.


Now, you say, "Diaw's turning into a player." But did you think that last season when Diaw played in Atlanta? No, Nash is turning him into a player.

A Western Conference GM warned me after his team played Nash's in a preseason game -- and I didn't listen. He said: "I'm telling you, the Suns are going to be good. That damn Nash is at it again."


Now I believe.


One year ago, I wrote that Shaquille O'Neal deserved the MVP over what appeared to be the cuddly little runaway bandwagon choice, Nash. How, I asked, could Nash be MVP when it was unclear whether he was the best player on his own team? Stoudemire, of course, was emerging as the strongest force in Arizona this side of the noon sun.


But Nash won.


And now, averaging a career-high 19 points and a league-leading 10.5 assists, Nash (without Stoudemire) clearly has had an even better season than last year's. But the MVP should come from the West's seventh seed?

Book it: If Nash had played for the Lakers this season, and Kobe had played for the Suns, the Lakers would be the second seed and the Suns would have missed the playoffs.


Nash would turn Lamar Odom into Marion (if not more) and all of a sudden
Smush Parker and Devean George and Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic would start running and spotting up and draining 3s, and Kwame Brown and Brian Cook would outsprint other postmen for thundering dunks, and the Lakers would actually look like they were having fun playing basketball.


When you play with Nash, you know you're going to consistently get the ball exactly where you're best with it -- and when you're most open. Nash is a 12-man team. Kobe is a one-man show. Nash needs teammates. Kobe needs a stage.


A Suns source said: "Do not underestimate the leadership impact Nash has. He routinely organizes team dinners on the road -- and guys actually like it! You don't see that very often in the NBA."


Certainly not with Kobe's team.


If Kobe were a Sun, Marion would feel as if he were on the dark side of the moon. Marion would split time between waving unsuccessfully for the ball and complaining to the media. Kobe would take one look at House and Jones and shoot.


Heck, in Los Angeles, Nash would be making Jim Jackson look like an integral cog -- as Nash did last season in Phoenix.


It's as if Nash's teammates believe he'll make them better than they have a right to be. They know Nash is like some ambidextrous mutant life form with eyes set so wide that he can see 360 degrees. They know he can change directions while dribbling or flying the way nobody in the league can. They know Nash -- who's a mere 6-foot-3 -- can make forests of much taller defenders look hapless.


They can't keep him out of the lane or his team off the scoreboard. And they can't keep him from finding a teammate wide open for a 3-pointer.



Think about this: The Phoenix Suns have made an NBA record 824 3s. And they lead the league in 3-point percentage at 39.8. So they're making 3s almost as well as a lot of teams make 2s.

That's mostly because of Nash.


No, he isn't capable of playing lock-down, man-to-man defense. On the fifth game of that trip that began in Jersey, Nash couldn't begin to control Detroit's Chauncey Billups, who went for 35. Yet Nash's goal is for his team to outscore yours -- and that night at the Palace, the Suns made the Pistons sweat by scoring 102. Detroit hung on to win by seven.

That's Nash.

John Stockton was a little better on the pick-and-roll. Magic Johnson was better running the break and, obviously, at creating mismatches because he was 6-9. Yet even Magic couldn't run this Phoenix attack quite as magically as Nash does.

I started watching his Amare-less games early this season and got addicted. Nash has this in common with Michael Jordan: Almost every night he does something you've never seen before.

In three fewer games, Nash has 115 more assists than Billups and 142 more than Jason Kidd. Nash's team leads the league by far in scoring at 108.4 a game. Seattle is next at 102.5.

Yet Kobe suddenly seems to be the MVP front-runner because he's leading the league in scoring at 35.4 a game. I spoke Monday to two media members with votes who said they were going with Kobe -- and that they'd spoken with several others who were doing likewise.

Voters are human. They talk to each other. Sometimes it works out that they pass around the MVP to make sure a deserving candidate gets at least one trophy. During Jordan's reign, he arguably should have won seven of the last eight years he played. But Charles Barkley won one and, somehow, Karl Malone won two.

This had a little something to do with how accessible and entertaining Charles and Karl were for media interviewers. That was a small reason Nash won last season. And that might be a small factor in the new, more open and media-friendly Kobe's turning into this season's front-runner.

But this is the season Nash deserves MVP strictly on single-season achievement. This isn't a "good guy" award or a "white guy" award. It is no longer Nash's "turn."

He's simply the most valuable, by far. In what has been billed as the most wide open race ever, this one shouldn't even be close
 

jibikao

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Arizona's Finest said:
Great article by the usually bull-headed Bayless (we'll give him a pass after this well thought out article;) )

By Skip Bayless
Page 2



For most of this NBA season, you heard almost nothing but resigned MVP sighs from analysts and columnists: "Well, it looks like you have to give it to Steve Nash again."

But a month or so ago, you began to hear another ball start rolling: Dwyane Wade's. Then D-Wade's deflated and here came Dirk Nowitzki's.

Then Dirk's was suddenly dwarfed by LeBron's! Remember? Just two weeks ago you kept hearing, "That's it. LeBron James has to be MVP."

But now the giant bowling ball you hear thundering down the lane toward the MVP pins is … Kobe's!


Over the last four days, you heard several analysts on ESPN and TNT make a case-closed case for Kobe Bryant. You read a number of NBA columnists and beat writers joining the Kobe chorus. And you figure Kobe clinched it when Page 2's Bill Simmons, who knows his NBA as astutely as he does his sports movies, forgave and forgot and gave his MVP to the player who flew like an Eagle this season.


I'm a big fan of Kobe the basketball player. Was before all that ugly business in Eagle, Colo. Remained so even after Kobe ratted out Shaq to the investigators.


No doubt Kobe proved to be the most talented and driven player on the planet this season. But the most valuable?

Only if basketball games are won by the team with the highest scorer.


That's why, I suppose, Kobe has beaten Steve Nash 81-0 in the MVP race.


Kobe, of course, went Terrell Owens on the Toronto Raptors, scoring 81, mostly on jump shots. This would have been astonishing even if the Raptors had played H.O.R.S.E defense, which was pretty much all they played. It was tough to tell who was more mesmerized by this Jan. 22 performance at Staples, Jack Nicholson or the Raptors.


Then on March 27 at New Jersey, Nash disappeared like Jimmy Hoffa. Five shots, zero makes. Zero free-throw attempts. Zero points.

The Nets led by 19 at the half on the way to a 110-72 wipeout. And voters finally had their excuse. That was the end of the "Nash again" talk. No way was this Nash Rambler going to win a second straight MVP with a goose egg on his résumé.


But he should.


In fact, big picture, that game should strengthen Nash's MVP case. Before the season started, a lot of analysts and columnists expected Nash's Suns to suffer some blowout road losses -- especially against teams that had won eight in a row, as the Nets had. After all, the Suns had lost Amare Stoudemire to injury and Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson to free agency. Heck, by March 27, they had lost their only legitimate post defender, Kurt Thomas, who wound up playing only 53 games.


And Nash's Suns have won 53 games and the Pacific Division! They're the 53-28 second seed in the still-tougher Western Conference! If they hadn't clinched so early, and Nash hadn't rested his battered body of late, they would have come even closer to last year's NBA-best 62-20 record!


I'm sorry, but Nash's 53 wins are even more astonishing than Kobe's 81.

Nash didn't play Sunday against Kobe's team at Staples. Kobe's team leaped to a 16-1 lead and won easily. Kobe, MVP? Wait a second, with Nash, the Suns won the season's first three games against Kobe's seventh-seeded Lakers.


Case closed … for Nash.


For the record, I picked Kobe's team to make the playoffs. I did not pick Nash's. Honestly, did you? I couldn't imagine how, even with Shawn Marion, Nash's team could finish even .500 with Raja Bell and Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa and Eddie House and James Jones playing significant minutes.


Now, you say, "Diaw's turning into a player." But did you think that last season when Diaw played in Atlanta? No, Nash is turning him into a player.

A Western Conference GM warned me after his team played Nash's in a preseason game -- and I didn't listen. He said: "I'm telling you, the Suns are going to be good. That damn Nash is at it again."


Now I believe.


One year ago, I wrote that Shaquille O'Neal deserved the MVP over what appeared to be the cuddly little runaway bandwagon choice, Nash. How, I asked, could Nash be MVP when it was unclear whether he was the best player on his own team? Stoudemire, of course, was emerging as the strongest force in Arizona this side of the noon sun.


But Nash won.


And now, averaging a career-high 19 points and a league-leading 10.5 assists, Nash (without Stoudemire) clearly has had an even better season than last year's. But the MVP should come from the West's seventh seed?

Book it: If Nash had played for the Lakers this season, and Kobe had played for the Suns, the Lakers would be the second seed and the Suns would have missed the playoffs.


Nash would turn Lamar Odom into Marion (if not more) and all of a sudden
Smush Parker and Devean George and Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic would start running and spotting up and draining 3s, and Kwame Brown and Brian Cook would outsprint other postmen for thundering dunks, and the Lakers would actually look like they were having fun playing basketball.


When you play with Nash, you know you're going to consistently get the ball exactly where you're best with it -- and when you're most open. Nash is a 12-man team. Kobe is a one-man show. Nash needs teammates. Kobe needs a stage.


A Suns source said: "Do not underestimate the leadership impact Nash has. He routinely organizes team dinners on the road -- and guys actually like it! You don't see that very often in the NBA."


Certainly not with Kobe's team.


If Kobe were a Sun, Marion would feel as if he were on the dark side of the moon. Marion would split time between waving unsuccessfully for the ball and complaining to the media. Kobe would take one look at House and Jones and shoot.


Heck, in Los Angeles, Nash would be making Jim Jackson look like an integral cog -- as Nash did last season in Phoenix.


It's as if Nash's teammates believe he'll make them better than they have a right to be. They know Nash is like some ambidextrous mutant life form with eyes set so wide that he can see 360 degrees. They know he can change directions while dribbling or flying the way nobody in the league can. They know Nash -- who's a mere 6-foot-3 -- can make forests of much taller defenders look hapless.


They can't keep him out of the lane or his team off the scoreboard. And they can't keep him from finding a teammate wide open for a 3-pointer.



Think about this: The Phoenix Suns have made an NBA record 824 3s. And they lead the league in 3-point percentage at 39.8. So they're making 3s almost as well as a lot of teams make 2s.

That's mostly because of Nash.


No, he isn't capable of playing lock-down, man-to-man defense. On the fifth game of that trip that began in Jersey, Nash couldn't begin to control Detroit's Chauncey Billups, who went for 35. Yet Nash's goal is for his team to outscore yours -- and that night at the Palace, the Suns made the Pistons sweat by scoring 102. Detroit hung on to win by seven.

That's Nash.

John Stockton was a little better on the pick-and-roll. Magic Johnson was better running the break and, obviously, at creating mismatches because he was 6-9. Yet even Magic couldn't run this Phoenix attack quite as magically as Nash does.

I started watching his Amare-less games early this season and got addicted. Nash has this in common with Michael Jordan: Almost every night he does something you've never seen before.

In three fewer games, Nash has 115 more assists than Billups and 142 more than Jason Kidd. Nash's team leads the league by far in scoring at 108.4 a game. Seattle is next at 102.5.

Yet Kobe suddenly seems to be the MVP front-runner because he's leading the league in scoring at 35.4 a game. I spoke Monday to two media members with votes who said they were going with Kobe -- and that they'd spoken with several others who were doing likewise.

Voters are human. They talk to each other. Sometimes it works out that they pass around the MVP to make sure a deserving candidate gets at least one trophy. During Jordan's reign, he arguably should have won seven of the last eight years he played. But Charles Barkley won one and, somehow, Karl Malone won two.

This had a little something to do with how accessible and entertaining Charles and Karl were for media interviewers. That was a small reason Nash won last season. And that might be a small factor in the new, more open and media-friendly Kobe's turning into this season's front-runner.

But this is the season Nash deserves MVP strictly on single-season achievement. This isn't a "good guy" award or a "white guy" award. It is no longer Nash's "turn."

He's simply the most valuable, by far. In what has been billed as the most wide open race ever, this one shouldn't even be close

Wow. :thumbup:
 

nazaquad

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silverstyne said:
I just read that article and was so pissed off that I managed to write a very long email to Mr. Simmons airing out my dismay. Nash at No. 5 is way too much disrespect. Anway, here's the content of my message and I hope you guys can rant too! ;)

Nash vs Kobe: The Case for MVP (A Rebuttal)

Dear Mr. Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy,

I respect your choice for Kobe, I really do, but I just have to write a rebuttal after reading your REASONS for doing so. I was expecting better logic from your article and it pains me to see that it is logic, which is actually missing the most. I have carefully read your criterion for the MVP award, and I can more or less accept your rankings for some of the candidates. But Kobe as No. 1 most deserving? How can he beat out Nash whom you placed just at No. 5? Following are your list of criterion and the basis on why Nash should win over Kobe (I repeat this piece is an answer for Mr. Simmon’s article for the issue of Nash vs Kobe only).

1. Ten years from now, who will be the first player from this season that pops into my head?

The MVP is NOT a popularity contest, nor should it be. Deep consideration should be given to the actual contributions made by each candidate to the team goals and to personal statistics. You say Kobe, Nash or any candidate would be remembered for the things they did for the season 2006? Most probably, the best player of the eventual champion would be the one most remembered (In this respect, Billups would have a better shot, but Nash would still have a bigger chance than Kobe given their team’s overall win-loss record). Nash and Kobe are both popular in their own right – Kobe for his high-scoring ways and Nash for his high-scoring Suns. One popular for his individual statistics, the other popular because he embodies the spirit of teamwork and self-lessness. In a popularity contest among fans, Kobe may win, however, if you ask teammates, coaches and fellow players, Nash will win this criteria by a landslide. I see this criterrion as a wash with Kobe having a slight edge.

2. In a giant pickup game with every NBA player waiting to play, and two fans forced to pick sides with their lives depending on the outcome of the game (I think this is how the annual Rucker League tournament works), who would be the first player picked based on the way everyone played that season?

Let me emphasize the Kobe is the indeed a better player and it goes that many people will pick him as part of their team just by following this line of reasoning. But haven’t you even thought for once of the chemistry issues the comes with having Mr. Bryant? Kobe has a reputation for ball-hogging and show-boating (from his rookie years to the present mind you), some writers even saying that he makes his teammates worse. On the other hand, you have the exact opposite personality. Nash is a glue that holds a team together, not to mention the fact that he is a dead-eye shooter and the ultimate passer. I’d definitiely want him on my team as THE point guard. As for Mr. Simmons, I don’t know if he has ever thought of playing with Kobe. In 1 vs 1 games, Kobe would be the perfect player but alas basketball is a team sport. I see Nash winning this criterion.

3. If you replaced every MVP candidate with a decent player at their position for the entire season, what would be the effect on their teams' records?

Its probably true that the Lakers without Kobe would be a sorry team. I can argue that the Suns would be too without Nash. In fact, there’s this actual record of the Suns going 0-for without Little Stevie, including the game today. Nash should win based on this fact alone. However, let’s delve some more into this issue – the issue of who has the bigger burden. This topic of who has had to carry his team more. We all know that this latest Laker team incarnation would be a playoff bubble team, even as early during the pre-season. Now that it has managed to squeak as the 7th seed, in a non-bearing game at that (because the Suns rested Nash and Bell), you’re ready to annoint Kobe as MVP? This Laker team has barely even managed to meet expectations. Who’s to say that the MINISCULE improvement of this year’s Laker team is not attributable to Phil Jackson? Now the Sun’s were supposed to be a lottery team without Stoudemire. Look where they are now, No. 2 on the Western conference seedings and with the 4th best record on the ENTIRE NBA. If you’re not attributing that to Nash, I don’t know who else you’re gonna pin it to. Again, Nash should be winning this criterion by a wide margin.

It is an unfortunate thing that you will never be able to recover the time spent on this rebuttal.
 

D-Dogg

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Card Trader said:
Lemme have it D.


I'll be nice on this one... :)


Your new line, from now until the end of the NBA Finals:


The Lakers are a much better team than I gave them credit for. I concede that the regular season doesn't matter in the playoffs.



Wear it with pride, my friend. ;)
 
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