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Kobe Bryant Wins The 2007- 2008 NBA MVP
By Clayton Ruley
 

Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets, Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers are all worthy competition but none of them deserved the Maurice Podoloff Award for Most Valuable Player than Kobe Bean Bryant. Kobe, 29 , a Philadelphia/Lower Merion product who also spent time in Italy while his father played international basketball, has grown so much over the last four years and this award signals his growth. While he hasn't didn't put his best individual statistics together this season his team has the best record in the NBA and he's finally learned to play with others in the best way to maximize his team's talents.

A co-MVP needs to go to LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, most notably, because he orchestrated the trade for Pau Gasol, didn't trade Lamar Odom to do it, resigned Derek Fisher for veteran leadership and drafted a young pivot player in Andrew Bynum.  Gasol and Bynum only played about half the season a piece for the Lakers though so Kobe deserves some credit because besides being the great player, individually, he's been for a long time he also empowered the rest of the team to step in a produce while those players were away. 

Kobe with the MVP trophy and daugher Gianna (Ron Francis/AP)

Kobe looks like he enjoys playing with this team and vice versa. Many of his teammates have lauded the manner in which Kobe has acted this season and since the season started Kobe has done as nice job of leaving the stress of the turbulent Team USA and "trade me" off-season and focused on the task at hand making the Lakers the best they could be.

Kobe Bryant has been the best perimeter player in the game now and has been for the last 5 years but people had questioned whether he was more concerned with winning with him being the number one individual player or he's truly a team player and winning. The question is answered. The Lakers have a great chance of bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy back to the "City of Angels" this playoffs and it's because of the Lakers as a team but especially because Bryant has learned to be the unquestioned leader of the team.

People questioned Kobe and the Lakers after Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Heat and especially when he won his fourth title with Dwayne Wade and Pat Riley. People wondered if they gave up on O'Neal too soon. Well it's clear that Shaq's last days were coming sooner rather than later and if you are going to pay someone the big bucks between the two it should have been Kobe. Not saying any of these athletes deserve the money they make but Kobe is much younger than Shaq and is now proving his worth on a stage that could reach a trail of NBA titles.

nothin' but net....

Final regular season stats: 28.3 points per game on 46 percent shooting, 5.4 assists per game, 36 percent three-point field goal percentage, 6.3 rebounds per game, 1.8 steals per game

 

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at clayton@geoclan.com.

It took 12 years but Kobe Bean Bryant finally got the MVP Trophy

(Lori Shepler/LAT)

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