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Laker wins without Kobe do not make LeBron MVP

Feb 11, 2010, 12:03 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for nba_james1_250.jpgKobe Bryant has now missed three straight games due to his sprained ankle. Each game was decisive Lakers victory, complete with ball and player movement that have been all too rare this season. The Lakers have looked as good as they have all season.

For some, that is proof that LeBron James should be MVP.

The theory is that if a team is without its star player, and still plays well, then said player must not be very important to his team. So, if the Lakers are 3-0 without Kobe, is he that valuable to his team?

That’s some horrifically flawed logic. Teams often over perform without their stars (Bill Simmons called it the “Ewing Theory” for when the Knicks played over their head without the great center). Last year’s Rockets team played the eventual-champion Lakers tough without center Yao Ming. Where the Rockets a better team without the best center on the planet (when healthy)? No. Not even close. No, but they were scrappy and had some matchups that worked for them.

This happens all the time in sport, it proves nothing about the worth of the player. You can make a good case for LeBron as MVP without denigrating Kobe. Bryant’s fans could do the same thing. But for some reason this debate always devolves into insults and why one isn’t as good as the other.

Two different players. Two different games. It is possible to appreciate them both, to exalt them both. And to say one should be MVP without that being a slight to the other.

  1. Fan247 - Feb 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    The MVP award is for the player who has the most impact on their team. (Most Valuable)
    Case is solved.
    Either Kevin Durant or Lebron James. My pick is to Lebron.
    I’m not saying Kobe isn’t that great, I’m just saying that the Lakers aren’t a one man team like the Cavs were in previous years.

  2. Adrain L. Parker - Feb 15, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Shaq would not have allowed Lebron to perform in his first three years of play, nor take his light… away… he hindered every two guard he ever played with when he was in his prime… childish, immature, etc… you name it this was Shaq…

  3. Gene - Feb 15, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    How do you know he has no education? Just because he didn’t go to college makes him uneducated? I went to college with plenty of people who graduated with degrees in various disciplines and were stupid as hell. Grow up or keep you’re ignorant remarks to yourself.

  4. SHAQQY - Feb 15, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    shaqqy is a great player . he better than dwightly doward

  5. K0B3D3Z2447 - Feb 15, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Okay, all you fans fighting, for most of you are lakers/cavs fans.
    Take all that information away. Who in the NBA is most important to their team? Now all of basketball fans take a look. Could the Lakers win a championship without Kobe? Maybe……And could the cavs win a championship without lebron? Not very likely….. So that settles your argument over MVP, even though there is more to compare,though im not going to get into it. My pick for MVP is Lebron-look at what he has accomplished thus far. He’s the top of the league RIGHT NOW. But wait. My other canidate would be Kevin Durant, who has been spectacular for the Thunder. But once again Lebron is too high on is game to be rejected.
    ADDED NOTE- hey for all u guys saying kobe has all these rings and is better at Defense etc….(same with lebron with all his talent…) The MVP award is for THIS season and how each player has an impact on their team.

  6. Pete - Feb 16, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    Just a note Drew, Lebron has never been to the NBA finals. Also, Lebron plays in a much weaker conference – the East. Kobe and the Lakers have much tougher opponents each night. Just look at the records of the East teams and look at those of the West. In fact, an East team playing 500 ball could make the playoffs. No way that can happen in the West. So lets bear that in mind when thinking of the MVP.

  7. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Rings dont make no king! Loyalty does! Now lets not get started on that word. Kobe might run from that! LeBron strives on it!

  8. Drexyl - Feb 17, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    LeBron is a unreal talent..a fantastic player. However Kobe Byrant is the BEST player in the league right now..hands down(NBA players agree..they play against him). He should have been named MVP the season he scored 81 points in a game(all in the flow of the offense i might add), but Nash was the writers and public’s choice(sort of like LeBron this year?). Yes..the West is stronger than East, but Lebron couldn’t get his team past the upstart Orlando team last season. Winning when it matters is what counts…Kobe has done this time and time again…Lebron..well i’m still waiting..

  9. Spaceman3456 - Feb 17, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Cavs record this season vs. the “Wicked West”: 19-5.

  10. SCho - Feb 17, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    people always talk about LeBron’s stats being better than Kobe’s, personally I think stats are the worst thing people look at.
    If all you say that you really do watch NBA games let me ask you why does LeBron get away with so much traveling, carrying, and always gets calls that always results him going to the foul line. kobe gets hammered everytime he slashes but he barely any calls, that is one reason why Lebron’s FG percentage is at 50%, all the shots he misses up close results in FT attempts. People also forget Kobe is playing with two fingers on his shooting because broke his index this year and did not have surgery on the pink and ring finger.I had NBA league pass for Miami, Denver, Lakers, Cavs, for the past couple of years and Kobe’s regular season and playoff performances is rivaled by none and playoffs determines an NBA legend.
    P.S : I don’t have a favorite player, just watch for the love of the game.

  11. erick - Feb 18, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    lmao lebron mvp not even in his dreams has anybody noticed kobe’s achievements Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history. mvp, finals mvp(which lebron will never get), gold medlist, slam dunk champ 1997,eleven All-NBA Team (seven times to the All-NBA First Team) and nine All-Defensive Team (seven times to the All-Defensive First Team).He was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game on 12 consecutive occasions, winning All-Star MVP Awards in 2002, 2007, and 2009

  12. J.J. - Feb 19, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Lebron is a decent player, but if you don’t win the ring…you really didn’t do much. Let’s wait and see who makes it, even though we all know the only place the cavs are going, is back to cleveland.

  13. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 21, 2010 at 2:03 AM

    Fellas, what makes this debate problematic is what defines an MVP. Is it being the best player on sheer individual talent alone? What about his ability to lead his team to the promise land?
    Michael Jordan has been a very highly talented player in his younger years in the NBA. Sadly for him, Larry Legend and the Bad Boys of Detroit were always there to stop him. Then came Pippen followed by Phil Jackson and the rest is bball history.
    I dare say that MJ would not have made it without Pippen and PJ.
    So what’s my point? Before really putting someone on the pedestal and hail him as a great one among the greatest — YOU HAVE TO HAVE A RING. And with that, bball is TEAM GAME. YOU CAN NEVER DO IT ALONE. So stop yakking about Shaq and Gasol as ammo against Kobe. Batman Jordan had Robin Pippen.
    At this point in time, LeBron has nothing yet and would have to still prove it. Otherwise, he’d just be one of those Wonder Players. You know, “I WONDER how it feels like to get a ring?”
    Guess what? LBJ has now his version of the Super Friends with Mo, Shaq and Jamison.
    Funny thing is, if LBJ gets a ring this year, he did it WITH SHAQ just like Kobe and DWade. LMAO!

  14. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 21, 2010 at 2:12 AM

    And with that, an MVP for the season is the player who has the most holistic ability to lead his team from the regular season to the highly competitive playoffs.
    Being the BEST player doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the MVP. The best player leads his team CONSISTENTLY when it counts.
    Personally, LBJ or even Durant can have the MVP. If and when the Lakers gets to defend their crown, then Kobe undoubtedly is THE BEST PLAYER. MVP don’t mean squat. Getting the bling is much sweeter.
    Go ask Horry.

  15. Jake - Feb 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Yes, Kobe has more rings than LeBron right now,
    but LeBron has fully eclipsed Kobe as a player.
    Kelly Dwyer has been arguing this for nearly 2 years
    and it’s about time most of us see it as well.
    Just look at who LeBron is playing with compared
    to the talent on the Lakers’ roster. This is not do
    diminish Kobe in any way, but LeBron right now is
    playing at a level no one can reach.

  16. BOB - Feb 22, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Everyone knows that Cavs would be horrible without Lebron. Lebron-less Cavs are about equal with the bucks. Also the Cavs are in the east which is obviously worse than the west. Never the less, Lebron is a better player right now than Kobe but Lebron’s team could not win enough with out him. Lebron doesn’t jack up 20 some shots a game like Kobe but he gets at least 15 free throws a game. Kobe used to do that when he drove the ball more but now he just takes more jumpers.

  17. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Fellas! Let’s be real here. No player, not franchise in the history of the NBA has ever won a title without talent and that talent meshing.
    Philadelphia 76ers! In the 1980’s, say from 1980 to 1986 had the best talent assembled, maybe since the 1960’s Celtics. How many rings did they win? Just one in 1983. Why did they finally win a title? They got rid of George McGinnis and brought in Moses Malone and Billy Cunningham finally got the players to play together. By this time though, Dr. J was worn down from carrying his team all those years. He retired with just 1 ring.
    Talent does matter. Cleveland is loaded with individual talent just like LA. LA has better fundamentally sound players. These players know how to elevate their games and execute without key players. They have a better coahing staff and better way of playing the game. Cleveland typically plays and open floor game, run and gun, which is why they can win in the regular season. LA uses the regular season to work out the flaws of the offensive and defensive schemes. Run and gun teams typically cannot win in the NBA playoffs, because teams adjust more easily, the game slows down and guys are tired.
    When you have an offense that can play inside out and run when it is required because of the flow of the game, you win championships.
    If yo look at the teams who in the last 10 years or since 2000, it is evident that balance is the key. LA, SA, Detroit, Miami, Boston, all could run, defend, play half court sets and play a balanced game.
    Cleveland cannot and will not win unless they can do this. Phoenix, Dallas, Cleveland, NJ, Portland, and Utah could not. The only teams that could that did not win were Sacramento, Houston and Indiana. They all had one common issue. LA Lakers. They were better in the early 2000’s and last year.
    As far as who is better player. During the regular season in the last two years, maybe Lebron. I think Kobe should have won last year though. LBJ only got it because they ratings would have been off the roof if the Lakers and Cavs made it to the finals. Kobe deserved the the regular season MVP last year. But, he got the Finals MVP, so he did get an MVP last year, and another ring.
    For those of you bashing Kobe. He is a shooting guard. Shooting guards, shoot the ball. It’s their job. Kobe shoots more in the triangle offense and his percentage goes down because he gets the ball late in the shot clock and sometimes to late. The ball sticks alot because Artest, Gasol and Bynum holds the rock too long. Kobe also has an issue with his finger when he gets popped on it and it’s a problem. He gets hacked more than LBJ period. LBJ usually creates the contact on his drives and he gets hacked and goes to the line. You can call a foul on almost every contested drive to the hoop. So, he drives and deserves to go to the line most of the time.
    So, who is the best player in the game? Well, the guy that is now considered the best says it’s Kobe Bryant. Are you going to argue with Your Airness? I think MJ would know. Kobe has the best footwork arguebly in history of the game at the shooting guard position. MJ was even a step behind Kobe is this area. Ask Phil. MJ was a better finisher at the hoop. Kobe was a step behind MJ in that area. Kobe does not attempt to take guys to the rack as much, because he evolved his game and he posts up more, like MJ in his last 7 or 8 years.
    MVP’s are great awards to win anytime you can get one. However, there is one MVP that each player covets a little more. Finals MVP! Until Lebron gets a final MVP, he’s cannot be in the best conversation. Barkley, Ewing, Malone, Stockton, Miller were all fantastic players. Neither ever won the hightest leagur honor. Even DWade has obtained that honor.
    I do not see LBJ getting to the finals this year. They will have a hard time getting past Orlando again. See Sundays game as the reason why! They will have a difficult time beating Boston with a healthy Garnett, PP, Sugar Ray and the most unbderated player in the league right now, Ronjon Rondo. They will have a hard time with Atlanta. LA however, will beat both Dallas or Denver. They nmay get pushed to 7 with Denver. Dallas may push them to 6. If you think Portland should be in the conversation. Okay, 5. SA is relevant, in 5. Utah, in 5. The upstart Thunder, maybe 5, but likely a sweep!
    The Lakers will repeat. If they stay healthy, they will win in 6 against Boston or Orlando. If Cleveland somehow makes it. I say they will beat the Cavs in 5. Why, because they will not be able to adjust to a more complete team like LA. Once LA adjust, like by game 2, it’s over.
    LBJ, Kobe and Kevin Durant for MVP in that order right now. If the Cavs keep backpeddling, and LA ends up with the best record, it will be Kobe. Why, if they meet in the finals the ratings would go through the roof!
    Sorry for the length of this post!

  18. Gav - Feb 22, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    to all my fellow lebron/cavs fans, lets stop talking about the kobe v. lebron mvp or better player debate b/c its not really a debate anymore. Three years ago maybe, now no. the statistics speak for themselves, kobe fans find them hard to answer so they bring up subjective opinions (kobes more clutch, kobes got a killer instinct) or something irrelevant (kobe’s got more titles). Kobe has played in 6 finals, 1 finals mvp, he has played 14 season and one regular season mvp. The statistics on pts, blocks, stls, rebs, fg% speak for themselves. And if kobe fans wanna talk clutch, lebron leads the league in 4th quarter points and has a higher career scoring avg than kobe. if laker fans want to call their franchise superior to the cavs org, nobody could disagree. but conflating best player and better team to prove kobe is better is really ridiculous, especially in 2010

  19. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Consistentcy should matter. Come on Gav. Lebron went to Cleveland and they had who, a young Carlos Boozer and Big Z? Oh yeah, Ricky Davis.
    He had to score and had free reign! Kobe had Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Rick Fox, Robert Horry and of course, Shaq. He did not need to score. He split time with EJ for 3-4 years. He only average 17 points a game for his first 4 years. I thnik this argument is wasteful. Situationally, who would you rather have when the game is on the line?
    I bet even Lebron fans would pick Kobe over Lebron down the stretch. And, more importanly, they play different positions anyway. Lebron is a 3, can play 1 or 2. Kobe is a 2, can play 1 or 3. But Kobe plays 2 and Lebron plays 3. They are the best players in their positions, period. If they swapped teams, Lebron numbers would dip in almost all areas. And don’t tell me his assist would go up! LA does play a run and gun game each night. They play half court sets. Ball goes to the post and out to the shooters. Lebron would have to adjust his power game. See Ron Artest! Why, because he will not have to do as much anymore. Longivity wise, what’s better? He will begin to wear out in 2 years if he does not change his game. Remember Earl Campbell. You could argue he was the best ever for 5 years! Remember Ron Harper, he played a lot like Lebron and probably was the closest player talent wise to MJ, when MJ was in his prime. Injuries kept him from the Hall! He won 4 rings with with Chicago and LA though.
    Just look at Camello. He is banging every night and he has been banged up for the last two years. Look at DWade. Same thing. I think Lebron has been very fortunate up until this point and has remained healthy most of his first 6 years, and 57 games in year 7.
    He is raw power right now, period. Kobe is raw talent. The more fundelmentally sound player. Ask Lebron what he learned from Kobe during the Olympics! He said being around Kobe helped him evolve his game. He actually started playing better defense. Kobe is a baller! Lebron is a baller! They are both the best in the game. Kobe gets the nod because he has won at the highest level. Even if you take his 3 titles away for the moment and focus on the one he got without Shaq, it’s still 1 more than Lebron has gotten. By the way, Kobe had 3 by 24. Unfortunately, if LBJ does win it this year, it would be with Shaq as well.

  20. Gav - Feb 22, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Sac Town r you serious? LeBron was drafted to save a franchise, Kobe was drafted to fit in a as a role player with Shaq, EJ and van exel. as for who i would rather have when the game is on the line, for the last second buzzer beater i woudl have to say kobe, for the whole 4th quarter before that, ill say lebron. lebron has led the league in 4th quarter scoring avg and in playoff points.
    lebron has not been banged up because he is a freak of nature man of steal with great conditioning, please do not use that as an excuse ofr your guy.
    lebron is not just raw power dude, see all the ast, blocks, jumpshots etc etc. if you said raw athleticism youd have an argument, but you would still be wrong.
    lebron is also 25 years old and fundamentals come as the game progresses and players lose their athleteicism. lebron is 25 now, kobe is 31. do not tell me kobe is the same player he was at 25, he was jacking up bad shots, playing 1 on 5 and making his teammates hate him. At 25, lebron playes methodical pick you apart basketball and his teammates love him, even if he has to go 1 on 5.
    kobe has won at the highest level sure, i dont think he isnt great, but what are the facts? shaq was the most dominant big man of that era, won an mvp, and 3 finals mvps. if u dont think kobe was replaceable on that laker team in 2000-02 you are dreaming. see 2005-07 to see what a kobe-led team with no other all-star does: no playoffs, out first round, out first round respectively. he needs to play next to stars w/ talent like shaq, pau, odom, bynum and now artest because he is limited in teh ways lebron is not. lebron made williams an all star and the other players into soild players, kobe needs established all stars, sorry!

  21. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Lebron has better athleticism! But, he never participated in or won the slam dunk contest like Kobe when he was young. HaHa!
    Lebron definitely saved a franchise. I am originally from Ohio, born and raised. I am not really a Lebron fan, but I have a ton of respect for him as a baller and as a businessman. He seems to make great decisons on and off the court. The whole, not shaking hands with Orlando is understandable. I think if he was on the other side of the court when the game was over, he probably would have shaked a few hands.
    I agree with your comment about maturity at 25 years of age. Kobe did shoot his team in and out of games too often. But, I think that was because he felt like he was competing with Shaq all the time. He never got credit when they won, only when they loss.
    lebron has not had to deal with that in his career. Two stars in their primes can be a bit much when the ego is as big as Shaq’s.
    Shaq is easily the biggest opportunist in the league. You can argue that he has rode the coat tails of both Kobe and DWade to get a chance at championships. He tried with Nash too. I’m not mad at him, that’s pretty smart on his part. With Kobe hurt in 2004, Shaq could not get it done. They doubled and triple teamed Kobe and made Shaq beat them. He was handled by Wallace and Wallace.
    You take Kobe and Dwade away and how many rings does Shaq actually have? The Magic beat MJ and Scottie and got hammered by the Rockets in 95. Shaq had Penny, Horace and even Nick and could not get it done.
    As fas shooting, Kobe also played with Glen Rice early on and they just had too many guys wanting the ball. I remember NVX just coming across half-court and launching a three. He may have had Rick Fox on one side and Kobe open on the wing, Horry tailing, but he would just jack it up!
    As far as all stars are concerned, Gasol is the only other all star on LA’s roster. Artest has not been an all star in 5 years. Mo was an all star with the Bucks, but they could not pick him over Redd or Bogut. Three all stars from Milwaukee would be an insult to the league. So, I can’t agree with you that Lebron made Mo an all star.
    By the way, Lebron had Boozer and Z early on and both made an all star team in Cleveland. The reason Lebron has to score in the 4th quarter is because his team builds big leads, lose them and they have to make comebacks. In the east mind you!
    I do agree that Lebron is playing better this season, but he also has a better supporting cast and he plays in a system that is run and gun. No team wins in the NBA without established stars! Name one team in the last 30 years to win with a single all star!
    Lebron plays with Shaq right now. They have Jamerson and they have one of the best three point percentages in the league. I do believe they have guys that can play. Hickson is inconsistent, but he is a good player. Shaq can still carry a team for 10-15 minutes a stretch. Especially when they have no inside presence like Atlanta.
    I feel that the order for the MVP right now is LBJ, Kobe, KD and argubly DWade. If the Lakers end up with the best record and Kobe finishes with a 28.5 scoring average, he’ll win the MVP! But, the best case scenario in my opinion is that it’s settled in the finals! The utimate Finals MVP! Like Bird and Magic. Magic 2(85,87), Bird 1(86). They did not meet but three times in the finals. But, Magic got his team to the NBA Finals a total of 9 times (80,82,83,85,86,87,88,89,91). Kobe has been there 6 times (4 with Shaq, two without Shaq).
    Championships matter. I find it interesting that almost every Lebron fan downplays the significance of proving your greatest when it matters the most. He has yet to do it! And, if he does it this year guess what, he would have done it with Shaq. Go figure.
    They won’t win though. Kobe and the Lakers in 6 over anyone in the east. Orlando could push them to 7, but no one else in the east can push LA to 7. Boston at best would be in 6. Maybe Charlotte! But they have to make it to the playoffs first!

  22. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Gav, you heard it here first! If the Lakers win and Kobe wins another Finals MVP, the argument would also be settled of who is the best. At least until the following season.
    I will also bet you a steak dinner at Jordan’s Steakhouse at Grand Central Station in New York that Shaq will call Magic, Kobe and Dr. Buss and ask him if could finish his career in LA. He will then pronounce Kobe as the best running mate ever! He will throw the King under The Q and say they lost a chance at the Champioship because Lebron does not have Kobe’s killer instinct and Coach Mike Brown should convert to Zen!
    The Lakers winning without Kobe does not make Lebron the leagues MVP! His team just loss 3 games in a row without Big Z! But, he was in the lineup!

  23. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 22, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    @RLE-Sactown: My points exactly and well put.
    MVP title is for the season games and the way I see it. LeBron would likely get it. For me, I really don’t mind. A season MVP does not generally translate to the Best Player of the playing year.
    Finals MVP for me is even better. One has to get to the Finals and lead his team there first — against the BEST his Conference has to offer. And then one has to win against the BEST of the other Conference.
    Essentially, it’s being the best WHEN IT TRULY COUNTS! That means ACTUALLY DELIVERING the Bling. And none of that non-sense about one star couldn’t have made it without this player or that. In the history of the NBA, there’s no one championship team who won because of just one player — not even Jordan’s Bulls team.
    I liken LBJ to a popular kid in highschool — he’s got the chicks, the threads, the varsity jacket and even the accolades of his peers… but never went to college and ultimately get his dream job, whatever that would be.
    Kobe would be that other popular kid but not as popular as the first one — although his teachers can see great potential on this one since this kid also gives premium on his academics. He has his fair share of accolades too, but not as much as the other. He gets to finish highschool and gets to an Ivy League school then goes claim his dream, his promised land.
    And that’s where it ultimately counts!

  24. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    Interesting analogy! Because Kobe skipped college as well. But, I get the point. I think Lebron is a stud (using Charles Barkley’s phrase) though! I do think Kobe is the kid that had fun, but when it came down to partying, he would rather hit the books or the court.
    All premium atheletes like Kobe and Lebron work their tails off! I think Kobe may have an edge in effective work ethics! He knows how to get himself where he needs to be. Lebron does not play the game better than Kobe. He plays one on one basketball better than Kobe, because Kobe tires got a lot of wear on them. Lebron has not even had to change his break pads yet.
    I think their is a difference between athleticism and skill level. Lebron is more atheletic at this stage of his career, but Kobe’s skill level is superior. He thinks the game, knows where to be and how to get to his spot and where the other guys should be for everything to work correctly. Lebron depends more on his atheleticism to beat guys and when help comes he has a slew of three point shooters to pass to. Kobe has very few options at the end of games. He does not have a young D. Fish anymore or a Robert Horry to pass to anymore. If they ever get a knock down shooter on their roster, they will win 3-5 championships before Kobe hangs them up! Joe Johnson may come to LA or Camello in two years.
    Lebron may win one in his entire career! Unless he bolts Cleveland and plays with DWade or Chris Bosh or KOBE! If he ends up in New York with DWade, Chris Bosh and McGrady, he will win two after the Lakers number 1 scorer of all time hangs them up. By the way, the Lakers may get DWill from Utah if Boozer bails. They may have to give up Bynum or Artest or Odom, but it will happen.

  25. RLE-SACTOWN - Feb 22, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Jake you’re kidding right?
    This argument reminds me of the old Bigge Smalls versus Tupak argument, west coast versus east coast! Accept instead of selling records, Kobe and Lebron is trying to set records!
    In a nutshell, Kobe has all the accolades, and he deserved them! He should have won the MVP at least twice, possibly 3 times already! Should have won the 2002 Finals MVP!
    Lebron won the MVP award after year 6. Deserved, but Kobe played better last year throughtout the year. Bad pinkie too! Lebron’s team just happen to win 1 game more than LA and that was enough for the media to vote him MVP. They gave one of Kobe’s to Dirk, and the other to Nash.
    I think Cleveland has just as much talent as LA. LA players play in the better system. Yes, they would all play well in a run and gun system, but can Mo run the Lakers Triangle offense? Heck no! Can Delonte West run the second team offense like Farmer or Brown? Can JJ Hickson push the ball like Lamar? Can Lamar post up like Hickson?
    These guys are ALL good! If you have ever played at a competitive level with one or two pros on the floor or even top Division 1 college players, you would know that most of these guys are terrific players. It’s not the boys club! It’s the NBA and you have to be good to get there. So, I think systems make players, but very few players make the system.
    Lebron plays in a perfect system for his skill level. Kobe plays in the perfect system for his skill level. The difference is that Greg Popovich coaches in San Antonio and his system has produced 4 championships! But Phil’s system has produced 10 rings!
    Talent matters! Jefferson is struggling in that system. I think Lebron would struggle with the triangle, but Kobe would thrive in Cleveland’s run and gun system. The Cavs system only mirror SA’s system, Pop is the master of that system. But, even without the right players, he can’t get done. Too bad Horry got old!
    I take Kobe and the triangle offense and you take Lebron with their run and gun offense, let’s call the defense even and let’s see which style wins the NBA title this year! I take Kobe!

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