Due to a tireless work ethic and fierce desire to be the best to have ever played the game of basketball, Kobe Bryant has cemented his place in history with the game’s best. Where he sits amongst the greatest of all time is arguable, but not the fact that he belongs alongside of them. You’ll marvel at the long list of accomplishments that range from Slam Dunk Champion, to 2 time Finals MVP. However, there is one accolade that stands out on that long list like Earl Boykin’s stature on an NBA court:
NBA regular season MVP: 1
In an illustrious 15 year career which include 5 NBA championships, 13 straight All Star Games, being named twelve times to the All NBA team and ten times to the All Defensive team, the committee that hands down the most prestigious of all individual awards has decided that Kobe Bryant has been the most valuable to a team on only one occasion.
As difficult as it is to believe that there has been a player more valuable than Kobe in every season in his career but one despite being one of the greatest of all time, is that he is still being overlooked and undervalued today.
A look at Kobe’s production this year you will see that he is right at his career averages across the board despite a 5 minute drop in minutes played per game from the previous season. The Lakers currently have the 5th best record in the NBA and on pace to win 58 games which is one more than last year’s championship season. In case anybody forgot about how great Kobe has been in his career he has had a chance to remind everyone as he has passed 6 Hall of Famers on the all time scoring list this season landing him at 6th overall. Despite all of this, the overwhelming majority of those in the media that provide projections or rankings for assessing the most worthy for the NBA MVP this season barely bother to mention him. The following is what some of them think of Kobe as an MVP:
Writer Source Where they rank Kobe
Steve Aschburner NBA.com 6th
Tommy Beer Hoopsworld.com 5th
Maurice Brooks ESPN.com 5th
Kobe actually dropped 2 spots from 4th to 6th in Steve Aschburners’ Race to the MVP rankings in a week where the Lakers were undefeated.
Kobe being overlooked for the MVP despite his great efforts has happened before; we look back at two of the most blatant examples.