Kobe Bryant is on a mission. Is evident that after last year elimination by the Dallas Mavericks and the subsequent comments about Bryant’s decline. Kobe Bryant is on a mission. At the moment he is leading the league in scoring with 28.7 ppg. The last time a 30+ year old player won the scoring title was 1998 and his name was Michael Jordan.
After the All-star Bryant is averaging 29.5 ppg. and his Lakers are second in the western conference standings. All of this in the midst of uncertainty as of some of his teammates were involved in trade talks including Paul Gasol, Bynum and Fisher.
So when his teammates were focused on whether or not they would have to pack their bags and leave Southern California, Bryant was busy beating the likes of Miami, Boston, Memphis and Dallas in the span of 19 days. Bryant was relief when the deadline was over because his teammates could now focus on the real game.
Everything started in the All-Star Game. After receiving a hard foul from Dwayne Wayne, Bryant was diagnosed with a broken nose and a concussion that forced him to wear a protective mask for the next couple of weeks. Bryant went on to score 30+ on the next 3 games including a victory over Miami in which Wade -his aggressor- was fouled out with about 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Bryant got his payback.
The Lakers are only behind OKC Thunder in the west standings. Durant is the big favorite to win the MVP award. He is second in scoring behind Bryant but my guess is he will probably end up winning his 3rd consecutive scoring title. That’s unless teammate Russell Westbrook decides to take some of the spotlight off from Durant. And that is a big IF, if you consider Westbrook ability to score and his obvious desire to shine. Westbrook in my opinion is the reason that the Thunder are the top of the west standings this season and the reason why Durant shouldn’t be MVP.
There are also the cases of Lebron James and Derrick Rose. The reason that I think neither of them deserve the MVP this year is simple: Rose has missed some time and hasn’t been as great as last year yet his Bulls are in first place and in spite of this Lebron hasn’t been able get the Heat to stay a top of the East. Period.
Finally there is also the case of Kobe Bryant only having one regular season MVP in his resume. To any other player the one MVP award milestone reads amazing, it’s is a truly great accomplishment but to Kobe Bryant? who is arguably the greatest Laker of All-Time, who is second only to Jordan at the shooting guard position and has 5 championship rings along with two finals MVP. That doesn’t read pretty at all.
It has happened in the past but it shouldn’t this year. Kobe Bryant deserves and should win the 2012 NBA most valuable player award.