Kobe Bryant has an enormous list of accomplishments and individual accolades that he’s piled up during his career. Bryant will be going into his 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers come October with five titles and two NBA Finals MVPs to his credit, but only has one regular season MVP over the course of his illustrious career.
In an interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, Kobe was asked why he’s only got one MVP. Bryant answered quickly with the following statement:
“Because the media votes on it.”
While the focus has been on championships, Kobe admits it does bother him he only has one MVP award:
“It bothers me. Of course, it bothers me. You do want to win as many as you can.”
As a player that was widely considered to be the best in the NBA over the course of a decade, it is a bit odd that he’d walk away with only one regular season MVP award. LeBron James has four and Bryant’s teammate Steve Nash has two, but Kobe sits with only one after almost 20 years in the league.
A lot of comparisons have been made to Michael Jordan during Kobe’s career with the Lakers and for good reason. Both players have nearly identical styles of play and were both considered among the best shooting guards ever to play the game, but one big difference between the two has been how they have been perceived by the media.
Jordan was the media darling and the face of the NBA. Bryant took a different approach with more of a villain type that loved to be hated. Jordan finished his career with five MVP awards while Kobe is stuck at one.
There’s no telling if Bryant would’ve won more MVPs over the course of his career if he had gone with a different approach, but he definitely seems to believe he was slighted.[divide]