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Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and MVP rambling April 18, 2006

In Bill Simmon’s last article, he claims Kevin Garnett is an “alleged superstar in his prime”. This got me thinking. Yes, it isn’t good that KG has missed the playoffs two years straight. But if we are talking about taking away “superstar” status, then what about Allen Iverson? The alleged “Answer” is also a former NBA MVP, who had a much better set of teammates than KG this year, and who played in the weakest Eastern Conference ever. Yet AI failed to lead his team to the playoffs this year. Remember, Iverson is playing with Webber, who, in spite of being practically immobile, is still a 20-10 guy, and definitely a step up from Ricky Davis.

It doesn’t really matter, I lose respect for Simmon’s every time I read his column. Anybody who claims that Kobe Bryant is the MVP this year is clearly out of his mind. By 2 out of 3 of his own criteria, Steve Nash is the MVP. To recap, his MVP criteria are:

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

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?

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?

For number 1, yeah I probably would think of LeBron, Kobe, or Wade.

For number 2, if it was me picking sides, I would clearly pick Nash. My reasoning being that even if the other 4 players on my team were hand puppets, Nash would somehow get them shots they can’t miss. You need a guy who can pass and create for the rest of your team, which Nash does to perfection. If I picked Kobe on the other hand, I would be 99% sure he would take the team’s first 20 shots, and one of his teammates would end up clotheslining him coming up the court. Bottom line, I can pick 4 other guys to finish layups and make open jumpers. I need a guy who can start fast breaks, make insane one handed passes to teammates that don’t even know they’re open, run my half court offense, and if needed, make 50% of his shots under pressure.

For number 3, if I took Nash away from Phoenix this year, they would win maybe 20 games or so. In 2003-2004 with Marbury, they won 29 games with Stoudamire and Marion. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that without Stoudamire as well this year, they wouldn’t have won more than 20 games. Keep in mind – they have Boris Diaw playing center. They would have Leandro Barbosa playing point. They are at 53 wins so far, which means that Nash has been worth 33 wins to them. Even if we stretch unrealistically to say they would win 25 games without Nash and Stoudamire this year, then he’s been worth 28 wins to them. Either way, that’s more than Kobe, who is at most worth 25 wins according to the Sports Guy. And Phoenix just rested Nash the past 2 games, so if he played the record might be better. Phoenix is a 53 win team, with one game to go. That’s unbelievable considering the personnel they have. Without Nash, it simply doesn’t happen.

Nash is the MVP, period. With Nowitski and LeBron number 2 and 3.


1. Nick - April 18, 2006

For the no. 2 criteria ~ I can’t see how you’d pick Nash first. Kobe’s scoring and efficiency rating are far superior. Not to mention nash thrives off of other players where kobe doesnt neccesarily rely on others (not that thats a good thing per se) but picking first you have to go with kobe.

My biggest is problem is with criteria no. 3. You think they would win maybe 20 games without nash?? I’m gonna have to disagree. I love what nash has done and i do agree he has added a significant amount of wins to the Suns. But nash has way more help. He even has another all star on his team who is having his best season yet (marion). Bottom line ~ if nash and kobe were to trade teams, the lakers would be a lottery team and the suns would be a nicer looking no. 2. Nash is great and deserves to be mentioned, but he’s great when his teams athletic formula is right. Kobe’s great even if his best player off the bench is luke walton.

(And you don’t even put kobe in your top 3??)