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Signs Point To MVP Year For Kobe

November 30, 2011

If you asked the average fan on the street who the best player in the NBA is more times than not you’d still get Kobe Bryant (thanks to Lebron’s fade in the Finals). Yet, if you ask the same people if Kobe will win the MVP award next season they would smile and shake their head in doubt. Many cite the mileage on his body and the talented supporting cast in L.A. as the main reasons his MVP days are over. But I think this upcoming season the writing is on the wall…The Black Mamba will be the league’s best once again.

The MVP question is a whole different ballgame than the “who’s the best player?” fodder that gets tossed around blog forums. It takes into account team success, health, and the grind of an 82-game season. But wait…this upcoming season will be just a 66-game campaign. Last season, Kobe was one of the favorites in the MVP race until about February when his stats started to decline (too much emphasis is placed on this, if you ask me). In 2012 Bryant’s numbers are less likely to dip as they did in 2011. Some might say that a shortened season would actually hurt Bryant due to the harsher schedule as they jam as many games in as possible. But there won’t be that many more back-to-backs next season than in a normal season. Also, unlike in the shortened 1999 season, there will only be a couple of ’3 nights in a row’ stretches to deal with. The same argument that the Lakers’ supporting cast will prevent Bryant from getting the numbers needed to win MVP actually helps the argument for him getting it. The crew around Kobe will take the pressure of him on those dreaded second nights of back-to-backs.

Bryant’s preparations for the 2011-12 season started early last summer, even for him. We all know the insane work ethic and dedication he has to the game. While a lot of “stars” are recharging their batteries in the Bahamas, KB is usually working out hard in the gym. Well this past offseason he decided to add medical innovation to his summer strategy. Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t the only former MVP on his way to Germany following the NBA Finals…..Bryant went abroad to have a procedure done on his right knee that was ‘cutting edge’ (sorry). While most guys settle for stretching and ice, Kobe pushes the envelope to get any edge he can on the competition. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is not all that common yet in sports medicine but it may be now. What better marketing than to have Kobe Bryant on your list of satisfied customers?¬† Don’t expect to see that same limp we saw at times last season. Kobe’s body will be fresh and spry…reminiscent of 2008.

While the cast of players may be the same, there’s a new regime out at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo...and, with it, a fresh atmosphere¬† (despite the smog). Mike Brown has something to prove after riding the greatness of Lebron James in Cleveland for years. He also has the daunting task of filling the shoes of Phil Jackson, on the sidelines and also in dealing with the media. Look for Kobe Bryant to embrace this new energy. Expect to hear quotes like “we got a lot to prove” and “it’s us against the world” often in L.A. this season. The current squad still feels the sting of last May and the playoff sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. This will definitely be a motivated group next season and their leader Kobe Bryant will be as vocal and determined as ever. The offense too will be fresh. The triangle offense got stale last year, and it carried over onto the defensive end. Coach Brown’s ‘high-low’ offense will include numerous pick n’ roll sets, which Kobe has shown he prefers in recent years. Mike employs a pressure defense strategy which will get Kobe some ‘run outs’ on the offensive end too. Defensive specialist Chuck Person, the lone coaching holdover, is determined to improve the Laker ‘D’. Bryant’s numbers will benefit from the new gameplan both ends.

There is definitely a buzz around Staples Center these days. Kobe Bryant has a new coach, a healthy knee, and a shortened season in front of him. Next June he could have another MVP award on his mantle in Newport Coast…..and maybe even one more Larry O’brien trophy.

UPDATE (1/11): despite torn ligaments in his right wrist, Kobe Bryant is second in the league in scoring and had a season high 48 points on 1/10 vs the Phoenix Suns.


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9 Responses to Signs Point To MVP Year For Kobe

  1. Herold Ellis on December 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Martin, you make some good points here. But I think Kobe is just too damn old. He won’t make it through those 4 games in 5 nights.

  2. Castro Mazzucco on December 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    1 mo ring for Jerry Buss, 1 mo mvp for the mamba. God wills it!!!

  3. Player842 on December 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Black Mamba for MVP..Ilike it!

  4. ALFREDO on December 10, 2011 at 11:18 am


  5. Dooug Phillips on December 12, 2011 at 11:42 am

    This could be one of Kobe’s finer seasons. He will be motivated with the loss of Odom.

  6. Vegas Jones on December 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    with lamar gone mamba will have to do more. his increased #’s should put him in the mix for mvp.

  7. Jolly Jim on December 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Wow, I’d sure like to see Kobe get another MVP, but with all the ?’s and the injured wrist. I just don’t know

  8. Jack Nicholson on January 28, 2012 at 12:58 am

    he got my vote

  9. South beach on September 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    ha funny

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