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Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 1:49 pm  |  126 responses

Links: MVP Overload

Who you with?

by Lang Whitaker

While I was glad to see so many of you chime in on the MVP post I wrote the other day, I didn’t expect there to be over 400 responses. Man. So I fired up one of the new Radiohead remix CDs and read through your comments…all 409 of them (as I went to type). And I want to read and react here.

Before we get into that, though, I should say that yesterday afternoon I watched both the Cavs/Mavs and Hawks/Lakers game, and one thought that jumped out at me is that while Kobe Bryant is probably the best offensive player in the NBA, LeBron, at least yesterday, seems like the most versatile player.

(And just after I typed that sentence, my official awards ballot arrived! Is that a sign?)

Anyway, here’s a few comments and emails…

Co Co wrote…
Look Lang, don’t try to be some go against the grain type of guy. The award is LeBron’s. It was his to lose and he hasn’t lost it. Just fall in line and vote for the King.

I’m assuming that was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Either way, the reason I’m trying to make this a dialogue is because I don’t want to just fall in line like everyone else. It’s my vote, but it’s also SLAM’s vote, and it’s also your vote, because without you guys, our readers, we don’t get a vote. And I don’t want to be one of those columnists/writers who is always telling you what you should be thinking. So I’m listening. Next!

A1 commented…
I agree that the race is a close one, but I dispute your premise that the East is a “much weaker conference.” Respectfully, I think you’re stuck in last season on that one.
Without question the East has 3 of the 4 best teams.  The West clearly has a lot more teams that will finish with 50 wins.  The East has a 226-208 record (.521) in inter-conference games.  It seems pretty hard to navigate those facts in any way that makes either conference “much stronger” or “much weaker.” Since you were writing about the relative challenges facing the Cavs and Lakers, however, it might be instructive to look at those teams’ comparative records against the West and the East.  The Cavs are 35-9 (.795) against the East and 25-4 (.862) against the West.  The Lakers are 20-8 (.714) against the East and 38-7 (.844) against the West.  It is pretty clear that as between those two teams, both of which are utterly dominant against Western Conference opponents, it is the Lakers that have an advantage playing more games against the “weaker” conference. Good luck deciding on your vote!

You know why I say the East is a much weaker Conference? Because the Hawks, MY Hawks, are solidly in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. HOWEVA!, if they were in the West, they’d be battling for the 8th seed. Both Conferences have a lot of flotsam and jetsam at the bottom of the standings, but look at the BETcats — seven games under .500 but only two games out of the Playoffs in the East. Maybe the West has a more clearly defined top and bottom than the East, but to me the East has a lot more mediocre teams.

The Seed wrote…
I feel Kobe is the MVP, because his team will have the best record and he has taken a back seat to help the team win. Just wait until playoffs start and Kobe like last year, increase his scoring per game and assists and rebs. People wait up and see we are going to give a player who fundamentals suck, playing with just brute force an MVP award. Whats wrong with America.

Well, we’re not voting on the Playoffs. We’re voting on regular season.

Rue Morgue Avenue wrote…
Just want to start by saying I’m a lifelong Laker fan, but also a fan of the NBA in general. Obviously, I’m gonna try to convince you to vote for Kobe as MVP. For me the biggest argument in his favor is that the Lakers play in the tougher Western Conference, where they have to play teams like the Spurs, Rockets, Jazz, Blazers, Hornets, etc. on a regular basis multiple times a year. Over in the Eastern Conference, LeBron and his Cavs get to beat up on the likes of the Knicks, Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Bulls, Nets, etc. on a nightly basis. I know that there are some awful teams in the West like the Kings and the Clippers, but the difference is that there are still the other eight good teams fighting for playoff spots, while the teams I mentioned from the East are all sub .500 teams that are fighting for the last 2 playoff spots in the East. LeBron does have a weaker supporting cast in general, but the Lakers bench is a bit overrated as of recently. While they’re going through their slumps, while Lamar Odom is going through his moments, while Andrew Bynum is injured, Kobe (and Gasol, but more on him in a sec) is the guy that’s got them winning games. Also, Kobe makes the guys around him significantly better too. I’m not too familiar with Gasol’s career with the Grizzlies, but he’s putting up all-NBA caliber numbers this year. Playing with Kobe has made guys like Ariza, Farmar, Walton, Vujacic, and Powell improve significantly…both because playing with him leaves them with great looking shots and because his work ethic rubs off on them. LeBron has been playing great as well…he’s a freak of nature and it pains me to stay that at some point he’ll probably overtake Kobe as the best in the game today, but I don’t think he’s there yet. Also, don’t forget the Lakers are the only team to beat the Cavaliers at home, at the end of a long road trip, about a week after Bynum went down, two or three days after an emotionally draining battle with the Celtics in Boston. I think that ought to count for something.

Hey, tell that to The Seed. Good point about the head-to-head match-ups.

Darksaber wrote…
my two cents Lang? Don’t overthink it, oh great thinker. You have scaled both awards down to 2-3 candidates each. Even have your arguments, and are still unsure. So, who do you like watchingthe most. Who makes you leave your seat during games? Who is the most awe inspiring? The big 3 are all mvp candidates for different reasons. So who is Whitaker down with? And ROY is quite clearcut no? Rose.

No, not quite clearcut. Getting clearer, though. And thanks for recognizing my great thinking ability.

NBK wrote…
The only reasonable argument anyone can possibly have to why Kobe would be MVP has not even been said yet, Kobe is the only player who has not lost to the top teams in the league this year. He beat Cleveland twice and is the only team to beat them in Cleveland (to my knowledge), and they beat Boston twice. If anything Kobe’s MVP argument hinges on him beating his championship competition.

Dude above made a similar point, but the more I think about, the more I think we should make clear that we’re not voting for best team. We’re trying to pick the one player who has the most value to his team.

Tommy from over at Hoopsworld emailed to say…
per your recent post – I don’t think CP3 get enough love.
I wrote about it here. The premise: “While intangibles such as leadership and nebulous concepts such as “making your teammates better” are difficult to measure, the one thing we can clearly quantify is the statistical bottom line.”

Sure. And I love CP3. But he’s not the most valuable player in the NBA.

Finally, Dr. Brent Brossman sent this thesis along…
The attachment below is a detailed analysis of your question and (I think) proves conclusively that LeBron James is your MVP. I’ve attached a Word version as well, which may be easier to read and also has links to the relevant articles.

This is new to me.  I follow basketball closely, but I don’t write to voters or columnists.  However, since you asked for input, I’ll gladly provide it.  I hope you will take the time to read it, because I put a lot of thought into answering what I perceive to be a legitimate question on your part. I  think I can conclusively prove that LeBron James is the MVP.

You start with the assumption that it’s a three man race between Kobe, Dwyane and LeBron.  I’ll agree to limit the debate to those three guys.  Additionally, I’ll argue for the use of statistics for determining which one is best because they cut through the personal biases of watching (or rooting for) some players more than others.

There are several statistics that I believe are the most important because they measure specific things. First, there is John Hollinger’s PER.  Hollinger claims it “sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.”  It appears to be the best evaluation of a player’s overall contribution to his team.  It does not take into account the intangibles like leadership, but I think we’ll all concede that LeBron, Kobe and Dwyane are great leaders for their teams. It doesn’t take into account some defense (which is still subjective), but there seems to be a general consensus that all three of these guys belong on the first team All Defensive Team. Additionally, it does account for rebounds, blocks, steals, etc. So, what do they do in the rest of the game?

According to PER, the top 5 players – in order, are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.  It assumes that an average player who is worthy of 500+ minutes per year is valued at 15.  On that scale, Kobe is 24.77, while LeBron James is 31.67 and Dwyane Wade is 30.34  In other words, while LeBron and Wade are close, Kobe isn’t.  In fact, if Tim Duncan were .10 better this year, Kobe wouldn’t be in your top 5.

Those numbers replicate themselves in more traditional stats as well.  Kobe is behind LeBron and Dwyane in scoring, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, etc.  He’s great; but not as good as the other two.

Now, I know your answer is, “but Kobe plays in the tougher conference.”  Except, he doesn’t.  In years past that was true, but now the East is the tougher conference.  I know it doesn’t look like that given that the East has two teams with losing records in the top 8 and the West will have a team at close to a 60% win-loss record who doesn’t make the playoffs.  However, it is the teams below that that artificially inflate the West. The worst team in the NBA (Sacramento) and 6 of the 7 worst teams overall play in the West.  Assuming you play a team 3.5 times a season (you play all teams in your conference EITHER 3 or 4 times; 2 if they are in the other conference), that’s 23 games against the worst teams in the NBA if you are in the West, but only 15 or 16 if you are in the East.  That 7-8 game difference makes a huge impact in the standings.

How do we know that it is the bottom dwellers pushing records up and not the better teams forcing the lower teams down?  The statistics prove that again.  In head to head competition, the East and West have played 430 games against each other including the games of March 27.  The EAST leads the season 223-207 for a .519 winning percentage.  I don’t see how the West can be better if the East is winning the head to head games.  However, there is additional evidence.

There are clearly 4 elite teams this year – Cleveland, Los Angeles, Boston and Orlando. Their records are in a different stratosphere than the other teams. But, that also means they are driving down the win-lose records of their opponents. Eastern teams have to play those 4 teams an average of 13-14 times, while the West plays them 9-10 times. That’s another 4 game swing in the standings. Given that three of those teams are in the East, they have a disproportionate impact on the standings, making the East look worse than it is.

And, how do those teams do against the other conference?  Through March 27’s games:
Team           East W    East L    East %    West W    West L    West %
Cleveland          35           9           .796           24          4              .857
Los Angeles      38           7           .844           20          7              .740
Orlando             33          11           .750           21          7              .750
Boston               35          10           .778          20          9             .690

Of the four, only Boston has a better record against the East.  Both Cleveland and Los Angeles are SIGNIFICANTLY better against the West.  So, I do not accept your argument that “Bron also plays in a much weaker conference.”  LeBron plays in the stronger conference.

Given that, there is no real case to be made for Kobe this year unless it’s the “best player on the best team” philosophy.  Even then, the Cavaliers have the best record in the NBA at the moment; although the Lakers could easily have that by the time the season is over.  Still, in a world in which those two teams will clearly have the best records, and those records will be significantly better than any other team and very close to each other, there is no justification for giving the award to Bryant over James.

As for James v. Wade, the debate is more interesting.  Wade actually leads LeBron in both scoring and assists, the first time Wade has led James in any of the “big three” categories in their careers. Wade has been an unstoppable force, and has almost single-handedly kept his team respectable.  However, you were right-on in your argument that Wade’s team is only 4 games over .500. That doesn’t deserve MVP honors.  It would certainly be unfair to change the criteria and award it to Wade this year after LeBron should have won a year ago and Kobe two years ago if we used that standard.

However, even by that standard, Wade doesn’t win.  It’s easy to say that Wade is obviously more important to the Heat than James is to the Cavs, but the statistics don’t support that either.  The obvious statistic to use is EWA – an assessment of the estimated number of wins each player is responsible for.  Wade does amazingly well with an Estimated Wins of 27.0.   In other words, without Wade, we could expect the Heat to drop from 38 and 34 to a lowly 11 and 51.  Clearly, Wade is ESSENTIAL to the Heat. But, James’ Estimated Wins is even better – a league high 28.8.  So, even in this category, NOBODY is more important to a team’s success than LeBron James. For comparison, Kobe’s EWA is 18.6.

And even in the traditional statistics, Wade is second to James. First, while Wade does have more points and assists (barely in both counts), they are only two of the many statistical categories in basketball.  PER balances those two statistics with rebounds, steals, blocks, turnovers, etc., and demonstrates that LeBron is the better player by a significant margin – although Wade’s PER is 2nd in the league. How good is LeBron?  He’s having the second best season ever since the advent of the modern statistics in basketball; second only to Michael Jordan’s best year (31.89 to 31.67).  Hollinger has an important two-part series as to why LeBron is clearly the MVP.

LeBron James is your MVP. Hope I helped. Thanks for reading.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    From last week’s SI, a survey of 190 NBA players asking “Which opposing player would you most like to have on your team?”
    LeBron James: 32 percent
    Kobe Bryant: 13 percent
    Terrific sidenote: “In a previous poll asking players which opponent they’d LEAST like to have on their team, Bryant was tied for third.”

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    That said, I guess I should read Lang’s post now.

  • fruity4rudy

    Roy.

  • Rasheedionics

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but at the end of the day, these individual accolades don’t really mean anything. NBA came up with these awards as a way to promote its Superstars to even greater extent. Keeps the buzz going. Makes people go out and buy these MVP’s jerseys and other NBA related material. It’s nothing more than a hype machine. I don’t think any veteran NBA player truly cares about MVP or any other individual awards. This is a team sport and it’s all about winning a championship. This shouldn’t be taken more seriously than All-Star game voting. It’s just for fun and no matter who you guys pick, there will be million reason why you should’ve picked the other guy because in a team sports it’s truly impossible to measure one individual value. But I guess it’s fun to talk about.

  • Scott

    The Doctor, droppin’ knowledge!

  • http://vnsny.org Spaceship Jay

    LeBron is MVP. From seeing his on the court/sideline antics, its clear that he brings a boost of moral to his team reminiscent of Magic Johnson; he hyped his team to the point of feeling invincible, even if (and when) they weren’t. There isn’t another player in the league that I see that from right now

  • Monkeyball

    It seems to me that the MVP award always go to one of three guys: the best player on the best team, a guy who’s had an otherwordly statistical season, or a guy who’s single-handedly kept his team respectable. I can’t think of an MVP on a team that didn’t make the playoffs.
    When AI won the award, it was for his disproportionate contribution to an overachieving team. Same with Nash, even though he was far from being the best player in the NBA.
    Last year, the best player on the best team (KG) was not dominant enough and was given the defensive player award. Kobe, Lebron, and CP3 were having outstanding individual seasons and the award went to Kobe for being on the best team (and for, completely illegitimate but nevertheless very real, nosatalgic considerations).
    This year, DWade and Lebron are superior to Kobe statistically, so between Lebron and Kobe (best players on the best teams) the award goes to Lebron.
    But I think the award belong to Wade, who’s the only reason the Heat will go to the playoffs.
    That said, Lebron will get it, for the aforementioned “it’s-time-he-gets-one” reasons.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Rasheedionics: At the end of the day, (as well as the start of the day, and the middle part, too), nothing means anything, because we’re all just tiny, temporary specks in the massive blackness of space. The idea that anything we talk about on this web site means anything is too laughable to even comment on. The fact that I have doesn’t justify either of our existences, but I did it anyway. And do you know why?
    Because LeBron is the MVP.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I’d love to know which players said Kobe is opposing the player they’d least like to play with. Besides Kwame Brown and Smush Parker.

  • RuPaul

    Lang, with all due respect, is there really any doubt? LeBron is simply tearing up the League without any days off.

  • RuPaul

    Of course, K-Love is your ROY, right.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • L33tSauce

    I pointed out that Wade was a combination of why Kobe won it last year and how Nash got his two awards. Whetehr you picked Lebron or not, I knew he’d win. I just don’t see the MVP as a legit award anymore since only people from 6 teams(The top teams) have a shot these days. Wade will be happy with his Finals MVP, something Lebron will not be getting this year.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    my apologies, i find the mvp discussion to be trite

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Its still such a toss up but Lebron may have sealed it with having the best record in the league.

  • Monkeyball

    Although Ryan is right about all of us, Lebron and Kobe included, being tiny insignificant specs of dust (although I’m pretty sure I’ve heard someone else point this out before), I think Rasheedionics has a point.
    If the MVP is based on subjective criteria, and it’s really a PR tool for the NBA, in what way is it different from the Slam Dunk championship?
    It’s certainly not a reliable all-time-ranking tool. Nobody could reasonably argue that Karl Malone was a batter player than Shaq, even though Malone has two MVPs to Shaq’s one. And Jordan was a better player than Kobe, but not FIVE TIMES better.
    Perhaps more attention should be paid to measurable accomplishments (leading the L in scoring, for example) and to all-League selections. Yes, these are also subjective, but at least they try to choose the best player by position (this year? Wade over Kobe at the 2).

  • Rasheedionics

    Monkeyball is right. It’s laughable to give an individual award to a player on a team with best record. It’s an oxymoron. The bottom line is that individual awards and team sports just don’t mix. It’s a hype machine. They tap into fan’s weakest spot, the inevitable urge to argue until we’re blue in the face who’s the BEST player is. You want to know who the best player is? Let Lebron and Kobe play one on one in 4 out of 7 playoff series. But that won’t ever happen.

  • floe

    That’s some great in depth statistical analysis and as much as i would like to say Wade this is Lebron’s year.

    Now if we could only count Lebron’s extra inches in height against him I truly believe we might have a case.

  • https://twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    lol @ Ryan 2:27

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Bron can slam the door shut on the competition with wins against Boston, Orlando and San Antonio. But if he loses two or more of those games and goes 3-8 on the season against the other title contenders, then thats a problem.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I think if he gets the Cavs to wrap up home court throughout…..it’s over.

  • Ken

    Bossman makes a very compelling argument. Thank you for taking the time to calculate that and share it with us.

  • https://twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    BTW, you need to switch LA’s wins around. You have their record vs. the West under the East heading and vice versa.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Good post Lang, I’m happy you didn’t side with Kobe, LeBron is MVP and I think you covered why he should be very well.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com/ Michael NZ

    Its LeBron.
    —–
    Links post is always appreciated Lang.

  • Joints

    what radiohead remixes cd?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Joints: My friend Matt sent me some Radiohead CDs (Pablo Honey, OK Computer, The Bends) that have the regular albums and then each has a bonus CD with remixes and live stuff.

  • scott

    Pearl Jam > Radiohead

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Izzo

    Lang:Is that the Rainy Dayz remix album?I’ve heard it’s supposed to be good,but to be honest I’m afraid to listen to it.

  • seppo

    Has anyone fallen off faster than Kobe? He used to be on the same level as James or Wade, but now he looks washed up. He was alright before the All Star Games, but he´s been on the decline ever since.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    dude its been a month and a half since the all star game and LA still has the best record in the east and are 2 games from best in the L. He has not fallen off, he may have become a little complacent but Kobe will be the same top 3 kobe when the playoffs start. Falling off would be what Baron Davis has done

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Is it really debatable at this point? LeBron has the upper hand in every single statistical category except 3% (33,8 vs 34) and the heat won’t get to 50 wins even if they win all of their remaining games. / I’m more interested in the ROY debate. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS. BROOK LOPEZ HAS NO FLAWS.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Wes*

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Lopez definately has flaws lol but he is my ROY as well. Pau Gasol + Defense = Brook Lopez

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    nbk, and those flaws are? i’m not saying he’s the best bigman in the game, but he does everything that a big is supposed to do and he does it well already. / low post game with go-to moves and counters with either hand on either block. jumper from the t. free throws over 80%. field goal over 50%. low post defense. blocks. rebounds. running the floor. he’s a homeless man’s tim duncan (that’s a compliment, btw)

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Well I guess is depends on your definition of Flaw, his rebounding ability can definately get better on the defensive end. He also has a little bit of trouble against quicker post players although I cant really define that as a flaw. I would say the defensive boards is his biggest “flaw” but you might be right. It is scary how much this kid can improve, especially considering he has the skills (shooting, passing) that take a few years for a big man to develope, traditionally

  • Jackie Moon

    Doesn’t hair count as a flaw?

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    your thinking of Robin

  • dubya816

    Kobe beat LeBron not once but twice. That should be put in consideration.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    You didn’t include my late and utterly serious top five picks? Man, Lang. :)

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    @dubya816 it is and its in the post, did you read it?

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    2 Shoutouts in one day!!!!!!!!!!! I’m the ish! OH and I was right…………

  • andrew15

    Lang,

    i noticed a gap in this mvp discussion – if Lakers play Cavs without Kobe or Lebron, which team would win?

  • andrew15

    That would help ascertain, who has the better ‘supporting cast’? My take, Cavs would win. Hence give Kobe another MVP.

  • madamerica

    There’s no question LeBron is this year’s MVP. This is the clearest it has been for as many seasons as I can remember. I think this debate is highly artificial. I find it redundant to even back up my statement, but a couple points:

    - He’s arguably the best player, if not the best, then definitely top 3 in everyone’s opinion.
    - His team has the top record in the league.
    - Only player to average 7 rebs and 7 ast, let alone 28 pts to go along with that. If his team played more close games, his stats would’ve been much better.
    - LA has a 20-8 record against the East, CLE has a 35-9 record against the East. LA’s record is boosted by playing the bottom dwellers in the West.

  • Diogo

    “How good is LeBron? He’s having the second best season ever since the advent of the modern statistics in basketball; second only to Michael Jordan’s best year (31.89 to 31.67).” Damn. That will do it.

  • Pardeep

    Keep hating, Kobes team is so stacked that its hard for him to win MVP he could average 35 if he wants and win it but hes got his eyes on a Ring.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    lang mentioned my favorite team!

  • Phil B

    i can’t think of any way in which pearl jam is better radiohead. also, when was the last time pearl jam was relevant? i remember loving them in high school, but man, they haven’t been good in a while. what remix cds are you talking about lang?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    OMG, my very first shoutout on slamonline. I’m now in rarified air along with the Eboy’s, BETCATS and CoCo’s of the b-ball universe. I can now die in pure bliss (umm, scratch that, gotta watch the playoffs first). Thanks for reading my comment, Lang.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    On second thought, i’ll wait with passing away. gotta get a shoutout in the MAG first, that would make my day.(and since E and Moose have been in the last two issues, i’m spotting a trend here, a very cool one. Ben be rewarding his readers, me like)

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m good with LeBron as MVP, but Kobe is a close second. Wade should not be second in consideration, because his team is turrrible.
    But wait, JUKAI thinks TONY PARKER IS SECOND. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Teddy: i gotta say, your ongoing “feud” with the Jukster is making me laugh a lot lately. Consistent ridicule of his comments etc. In a way it’s kinda mean, but hey, the J can dish out in the nastiest of ways, so i hope he can take some too.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Sorry, I had to take a breath, too funny:
    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    No problem, Dark. And congrats.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Thanks, man. I’m smiling through this day, fo sho. Slamonline Shoutout, weeee.

  • Fred34

    And your 2009 MVP is, hands down, Ryan Jones – with his metaphysical existential garbledy-gook.

  • L33tSauce

    Again, all the talk about Wade’s TEAM being bad, not him. M-V-P? Most valuable playerSSSS? Oh no, it’s singular as in player. Right… News to everyone here. And Andrew, how many bong rips were taken and beers crushed before the comment? The L.A. Lakers team is far better than the Cavs team when you minus King James and the Mamba. And why are you guys acting like anyone else could win it? It’s been James since day one. Another sign the MVP is total bull sh*t.

  • Krishan

    scott Posted: Mar.30 at 4:27 pm
    Pearl Jam > Radiohead
    Someone should take your musical tastes, and then kill you with it.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Hey, I respect people more when they can dish it out. I could explain my Tony Parker reasoning to you, Teddy, but you have to get your head away from kissing Kobe’s ass so you can hear me first!

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  • jay

    LeBron MVP. Kobe finals MVP & a ring. everyone cool with that?

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    KOBE MVP. Lebron is not human.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Good follow up

  • Rome

    what nothing about Jesse Dunn? LANG!!!

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    John Hollinger’s -/+ is stupid …, KOBE for MVP

  • CBI

    Rasheedionics, you are 100% right. The MVP is a beauty/popularity contest. The only awards that really matter are the ones determined on the court/field/diamond.

  • Michael

    Radiohead> Pearl Jam all day. Pablo Honey sucks though. Oh and The Bends > Ok Computer.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Jukai: That was turrible. Seriously. Hahaha that made me laugh it was so bad. You sir, are hilarious!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    And he’s not even trying to deny the fact that he thinks Tony Parker is #2 in the MVP race! Bahahahaha

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Time magazine’s list of candidates for the 100 most influential of the people in the world is up. Kobe Bryant is among the 204 nominees. LeBron James is NOT.

  • realtalk

    How did the Cavs do against the Lakers this season?

  • truthteller

    Jay,
    I’m definately cool with that!

  • truthteller

    madamerica,
    How did the Cavs do against the Lakers this season? I’m just asking.

  • truthteller

    And for all you morons saying that the Western Conference is weaker than the East:

    Western Conference:
    All 8 teams in the playoffs are above 500. (Phoenix is 40-34 and they are 9th!)

    Eastern Conference:
    Hawks: 43-31 in the 4th spot (that’s tied with the Mavs who are currently in the 8th spot!)
    And please don’t get me started with Chicago: 36-39! they are in the 8th spot.
    This means that the Hawks with the 4th spot in the east would be the only team along with Cleveland, Boston and Orlando who would be in the playoffs! Open your eyes people! The cavs are a great team but their conference blows!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Jukai would probably place Tony Parker in that top 100 list!! BAHAHAHAH!

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Teddy: Actually, I think Parker is third. Wade is second. Kobe is fourth. But don’t worry– if he keeps shooting the way he is, Dwight’ll have that spot.

  • Rohrs

    Truthteller, it’s time you changed your name to FecesSpewer. Following Lang’s lead I’ve given your MVP posts much thought, and frankly, your opinions stink! First it was your “finesse” argument against LeBron winning the MVP, and now you’re applying the same level of thoughtlessness to the strength of the Eastern Conference. Here’s a couple fun facts you should probably have considered before spewing more of your simple-minded analysis 1) The East is 226-209 against the West this season 2) Three of the top four teams in the league are in the East which means that at the minimum an Eastern Conference team will have played Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando 9 times this year, while a team like Chicago, (who you’re so quick to dismiss) that’s in the Cavs division, will have played those teams 10 times. By contrast, any Western conference team will only have played these teams 6 times by the end of the regular season. In addition all the Western Conference teams have had more games to beat up on the bottom-dwellers of the league – the Clippers, Timberwolves, Thunder, Warriors, Grizzlies, & Kings, which goes a long way toward explaining the higher number of wins by playoff teams in the West. So FecesSpewer, for the sake of us all – put a little more thought into your posts. Maybe then you’ll earn the name you’re trying to go by now.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The only thing that should worry about you is Tony Parker’s nuts, Jukai. But thanks for the heads up.

  • JoeMaMa

    Just another member of the peanut gallery wondering why someone named Teddy-the-Bear is talking about a grown man’s nuts. Am I crazy?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    You know what Joe? I too am wondering how it is physically possible for a man by the name of Joe to be somebody’s “MaMa”. If you are a hermaphrodite, you would be pleased to know Jukai is too. You are not alone in this, son…… er, I mean daughter… I mean he-she.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Wait, maybe Jukai is your offspring. That would explain a lot…

  • Rohrs

    It’s time Teddy-the-Bear and FecesSpewer take turns throwing their nonsense at each other. Jackie Moon could cover it for Channel 4 News as his alter ego, Ron Burgundy.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Since the Cavs are three full games ahead of Team Titanic in the best of the league race, can the debate please end and Lang just give the SLAM vote to Lebron like it should have been from the jump?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yup, Jukai is dunzo. Peace !

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I respect Teddy’s hustle. He’s relentlessly going at the Jukester lol. It ain’t even about Bynum because Pau is doing work and LO is playing like a man again after that slump in early March…. the bench has been ridiculously bad. Farmar, Sasha and Luke are playing TERRIBLE basketball. It’s not even funny at this point. Oh wait, yes it is.

  • http://www.bbaxn.com Darksaber

    guys. Better get ready for BET’s explosion in tomorrow’s post up when Holly complains about the Faker’s lack of focus recently, AND the loss to the Bobcats. Raja rules btw. Oh and Teddy going after Jukster reminds me of Gaz straight up dissing BET regularly a few months ago. Slam, where passionate enemies are made.

  • http://www.bbaxn.com Darksaber

    Z: maybe Adam should get minutes?

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    I mean you can write pages and pages of statistical analysis, team-depth-ratio algorithms, PER, +/-, crystal ball gazing, tarot, ask Dr Phil even….
    ….at the end of the day it’s LeBron James’ award.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Holy christ, James is going to have a heart attack tomorrow!

  • Lukel

    I’m a Lakers fan and Kobe is my favourite player. BUT Lebron James is the MVP. No doubt about it. Both have had superb seasons on amazing teams.

    But in the race for homecourt and the leagues best record, Lebron has shined and Kobe has not.
    In this 13 game streak, the Cavs have often found themselves down in the 4th or late in the 3rd. And every time, it’s Lebron’s defense, passing and scoring that has got them the W. He is simply everywhere in the 4th, and wills his team to victory.

    Meanwhile, Kobe’s late season melt may be why we won’t have homecourt. He takes too many shots in the 4th instead of looking for Gasol (who is red hot) and just when we needed it most, he’s shooting below 40% from the field.

    Any Laker fan looking for an LA MVP trophy is being too much of a Laker fan, and not enough of a basketball fan.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    *sigh* I wish I could make regular appearances of The Post Up. Reading is good fun though.

  • The Seed

    Nice writeup, better late to comment than never, but what I was saying is if Lebron gets best record he should be MVP, Kobe best record he should be MVP, and that Lebron fundamentals suck, he is 6’9 to 260 and can’t post up and his dribbling is suspect, but hey he is a freak of nature and it works in todays NBA. I just wished the MVP was judged off the whole season, including playoffs, because Dirk and Nash two MVP’s could have went to other players more deserving, but right now if Cavs keep best record Lebron should be MVP. Also maybe Kobe will get a Bill Russell MVP award, he might like that one more than regular season MVP award.

  • Rohrs

    Don’t be such a doucher Seed. LeBron’s fundamentals don’t “suck”. Granted he’s still trying to develop a post-up game, but he has an amazing skill set for such a young age. Was Jordan a complete player at 24? No. Was Kobe? No. Was anyone in the history of basketball at 24? No. So give LeBron a break Seed. He’s more than just “a freak of nature”. It’s time all you haters out there acknowledge that (& stop being such douchers).

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’d just like to point out that LeBron’s game works in today’s nba, yesterday’s nba, tomorrow’s nba, the day after tomorrow’s nba…

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Look all you stupid idiot LeBron haters – LeBron is the MVP – he is the most effective Offensive player in the NBA – and the Second most effective defensive player (or tied or most whatever its Howard, LeBron, Wade–IMO) Kobe is not the MVP because LeBron is having a better year on both sides of the ball and winning more while doing it. Its sickening really to think the award might go to anyone else.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Is kobe in the running for DPOY? Didn’t think so — why is MVP even a debate?

  • tha_man

    Wow nbk,
    So we have “LeBron lovers” too now huh? Well, now you know how “Kobe lovers” feel when “kobe haters” like you talk ish!

  • truthteller

    Rohrs,
    First of all the “finesse” comment was just for fun. I was coming down to your level. I did it to show you and others how stupid some of you guys sound when you type in bs on this post and I can see it works. The same way you felt when you read it is the same way I feel when idiots like you and your friends type in nonsense due to the “kobe hate.” Now funny enough (LOL) you have the nerve to call people “LeBron haters!” And you say I should call myself “feaces spewer?” Good one! yeah, go ahead and call me that ’cause that’s exactly what I do to idiots like you; spray feaces all over your dirty ass face!

  • truthteller

    Rohrs,
    And then you write some BS about the Western and Eastern Conferences? Are you really serious?! Do you really believe that mess? Do you really want me to reply to that junk? You know what? I’ll let you sit in the feaces I just sent you and let you smell all that stench and think about that one!

  • the_man

    And if the Lakers happen to meet the Cavs in the finals, they will have homecourt ’cause they swept the Cavs in the regular season.

  • Rohrs

    Now FecesSpewer I know your feelings are hurt because your beloved Lakers got swept by the Bobcats of THE EASTERN CONFERENCE & that you’re extra emotional today… But dude, seriously, you’re an F’in moron who can’t handle the truth when it’s presented to you which makes you the worst kind of fan. Look up the East’s record against the West this year. Do it.

  • Rohrs

    Seriously “the_man”? Do you understand anything about how a team gains homecourt advantage, or did FecesSpewer’s tirade get you drinkin’ his Kobe Kool-Aid? The only way the Lakers would get homecourt over the Cavs is if they end the season with identical records, then their record against the Cavs would factor in.

  • Rohrs

    Did you look up that record yet FecesSpewer? Probably not since you are the worst kind of fan, one who is too afraid that the actual standings don’t support their outdated views on the league. Let me play the role of “truth teller” – As of today the East is 227-210 against the West. How are you going to explain that away FecesSpewer? Oh wait – you can’t. So do yourself & all us serious fans a favor by shutting the hell up. You’re posts are a joke & not the funny kind.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Rohrs, if I wasn’t busy owning Jukai I would verbally destroy your @ss too. Its all good though.

  • Rohrs

    Bring it Teddy. I doubt you’re up to the challenge.

  • the_man

    I’m not a Lakers fan. I’m a Pistons fans you idiot!

  • Rohrs

    No wonder you’re so pissy… Still, you shouldn’t drink any more of FecesSpewer’s Kobe Kool-Aid.

  • Rohrs

    Where you at Teddy?!? I’m calling you out… Oh wait – that’s right, you’re on a man date with FecesSpewer. How is “I Love You, Man”?

  • truthteller

    And Rohrs, I’m not a Lakers either. I’m just someone who actually watches basketball. You should try it. And I like how you avoided responding to my very first comment. Responding to that and I’ll respond to your “factual” stats. And as long as your calling me a “Lebron-hater” (hilarious) you keep proving my point as to what’s wrong with idiots like you on these posts!

  • the_man

    I’m not drinking Kobe’s kool-aid and you can’t make me drink from LeBron’s either! I think both of you are idiots! Why does it have to be either Kobe or Lebron?If you ask me, I think you’re drinking from the media’s kool-aid ’cause they force this bs on us! Why can’t Lebron fans respect both Kobe and LeBron and vice-versa? Both of you make me sick!

  • Rohrs

    FecesSpewer! You’re back! I’ve missed you! How was your date with Teddy? I’d love to respond to, what I’m sure was a fascinatingly thoughtful query, but tell me… Just WTF was worth responding to in your tirade? You make no sense… Please enlighten me with your expansive knowledge of the game of basketball. Oh, & BTW trying to pass off your “finesse” argument against LeBron as a “just for fun” proves not only that you’re an idiot, but that you also have no balls. It’s one thing to post idiotic comments, but it’s just flat-out lame to try & pass them off as humor when you’re called out on them.

  • truthteller

    the_man, if you’ve read my posts in various dicussions on this site you’ll know I’m not making this about either Kobe or Lebron. I never have. In fact, I’ve always told guys to just celebrate both of them because they are both great! It’s idiots like Rohr who do this and frankly, I’m sick of it! We can’t have a normal discussion without somebody bringing Kobe in the mix and when they talk about him, it’s always just some bs just because they hate him. And when somebody challenges them, they get all prissy! They are making it about Kobe and LeBron or sometimes, they even include MJ, which I think is even more ridiculous! But I can’t make them understand this so, I decided to toy with them and come down to their level and write the kind of nonsense they write just to show them how dumb they sound and of course, dumb dumb Rohr responds! I’m toying with him that’s all.

  • Rohrs

    “the_man” I think you you need a hug. FecesSpewer is back from his date with Teddy. His arms are open wide… He will accept you & you can both cry about the media conspiracy that’s making the case for LeBron to be MVP. Because clearly, it’s without merit.

  • Rohrs

    You’re so clever FecesSpewer! The way your mind works dazzles me! And just for the record I have never once said I hate Kobe or his game. I actually live in LA & watch as many Lakers games as I can, but facts are facts & frankly anyone still whining about why LeBron shouldn’t be MVP is a moron. Like you.

  • truthteller

    rohrs,
    Why don’t you practise what you preach and grab your nuts first and respond to my post. And if you really think I was serious about that “finesse” comment, thne it’s obvious that you never read my comments in that same blog or other blogs for that matter. So, I’ll let that one slide. It’s not your fault. You’re still an idiot though and I’m waiting for your response to my other comment and then I’ll enlighten you (like anybody could really do that. I don’t think even Jesus could enlighten you) Go ahead Rohr, grab your nuts!

  • Rohrs

    Again, FecesSpewer, what was the question you asked in your earlier tirade?

  • truthteller

    Rohr,
    I never said LeBron wasn’t deserving of MVP! Did I? I want you to show me where I said that! You know, you really are an idiot! Can you read and comprehend? Are you capable of doing that? Now I think I’m getting worried for you ’cause I can’t help you with that one buddy! You’re on your own with that! And as far as you’re infatuation with teddy, I can’t help you that one either! Sorry!

  • truthteller

    And Rohr, I’m gonna start calling you DumbDumb!

  • Rohrs

    No FecesSpewer… I just called you a moron. I’m sorry if your insecurities overtake your ability to understand what you read.

  • truthteller

    DumbDumb, FYI, the_man is right. If the Lakers and the Cavs meet in the finals, the Lakers have homecourt advantage! The only time the Cavs will have home court advantage is if the the Cavs and Lakers split their regular season meetings and they didn’t! See, dumbdumb get your head out of your ass or maybe LeBron’s ass and maybe you’ll know these things too.

  • Rohrs

    Dude… You’re so wrong. It’s not even funny anymore (and seriously “DumbDumb” – that’s the best you could do?!?). For someone who claims to watch as much basketball as you do FecesSpewer, it’s amazing how little you actually know about the game. Again, because I know you’re slow – If the Cavs end the season with the best record in the league they will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, no matter who their opponent is in the finals. That’s how it works. Look it up. Or better yet WATCH THE GAME YOU F’IN MORON. Now do us all a favor – go back to the corner, put your dunce cap on, & SHUT THE F*CK UP.

  • truthteller

    dumbdumb,
    Yes ma’am! I give up! I really do! You’re right! Everything you said is exactly true! Kobe sucks, the Eastern Conference is better than the Western Conference. Actually, the West sucks! If the cavs finish the season with the best record and they meet the lakers in the finals, they will have homecourt advantage and what else…oh yeah I have no balls and I’m a secret Kobe rider who has gotten drunk off of the Kobe kool-aid, I’m slow and I’m a moron! You are totally right dumbDumb, I mean rohr! What was I thinking? You win! You have totally schooled me! Damn you’re good! I thought I was clever but you showed me I wasn’t! I’m going to my corner to put my dence cap on and shut the f%4k up!

  • Rohrs

    Good. It’s about time… Our long national nightmare is over now that you’ve learned how homecourt in the finals is determined. But FecesSpewer, you’re only living up to your new name by misquoting me in your latest tizzy. For the record I never said Kobe sucks. I love his game and I love watching the Lakers play. I also never said the Eastern Conference is better than the West. All I did was state that the Eastern Conference has a better record head-to-head against the West, and point out that the majority of basement dwellers in the league are in the West, teams with 6 of the 7 worst records in the league – which to me, goes a long way toward explaining why the playoff teams in the West have so many more wins as they’ve gotten to play these teams more times than any Eastern team has. Anyway, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings for calling out your lame-ass arguments, but hey – I thought that’s what these boards were for. Sleep well my friend.

  • Truthteller

    Rohrs,
    and for the record, I never used the finesse comment to prove why LeBron shouldn’t be MVP and I never said he wasn’t deserving of of it either. So I guess we’re even.

  • Aimee

    I agree that the Western COnference is weaker this season BUT you also have to consider the fact that the Lakers (Kobe) beat the Cavs (LBJ) and Boston in all of the games between those teams. To consider a team or a player better, you should also look at the result of the games that were crucial to the team and not just the whole picture which includes games that were either lost by a point especially in overtime, or because of last-minute bad calls from officials or because of injuries.

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