PLAYER OF THE Y.E.A.R.

by April 19, 2007
5

By Sam Rubenstein

It is time to unleash the Player of the Y.E.A.R. on the public. What does Y.E.A.R. stand for, you might ask?

You

Earned

All

Respect.

This is the time where media, fans, players, you, me, us, them, all make their MVP arguments. I could make mine, but it’s just one brain spitting out what it thinks. Instead I have been voting once a day for over 100 days. The numbers should tell the story, and the player who carried his team to victory most often according to my calculations is Kobe Bryant. Winning a Player of the D.A.Y. in a losing effort was nearly impossible, which means that trendy MVP choices Dirk Nowiztki and Steve Nash each had 20 more opportunities than Kobe to win the award. I think that balances out the divide between best player on winning team vs. individual greatness on an above average team.

Here is the final tally. Special thanks to commenter Reggie Evans, for keeping such close tabs on the list all season long. It is possible that his numbers are more accurate than mine. For example, he claims that Baron Davis won this 5 times, but I say 4. It’s a quagmire. Anyways, on to the results:

SEVEN Player of the D.A.Y.s

KOBE BRYANT

SIX

LEBRON JAMES

FIVE

AMARE STOUDEMIRE
GILBERT ARENAS

FOUR

BARON DAVIS
BEN GORDON
CHRIS BOSH
STEVE NASH
TRACY McGRADY

THREE

DIRK NOWITZKI
DWYANE WADE
JASON KIDD
TIM DUNCAN

TWO

ALLEN IVERSON
ANDREA BARGNANI
CARLOS BOOZER
CARMELO ANTHONY
DERON WILLIAMS
DWIGHT HOWARD
ELTON BRAND
JOE JOHNSON
MANU GINOBILI
MICHAEL REDD
YAO

ONE

ANDREW BYNUM
ANTAWN JAMISON
BEN WALLACE
BILLY HUNTER
BRANDON ROY
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS
CHRIS PAUL
CHRIS WEBBER
COACH K
DAVID LEE
DAVID WEST
GOD
JASON RICHARDSON
JOSH HOWARD
JOSH SMITH
KEVIN GARNETT
LAMAR ODOM
LARRY KRYSTKOWIAK
LEANDRO BARBOSA
LUKE RIDNOUR
MANU GINOBILI
MARVIN WILLIAMS
MEMO OKUR
MIKE BIBBY
QUENTIN RICHARDSON
RANDY FOYE
RASHARD LEWIS
RAY ALLEN
RICHARD JEFFERSON
RICKY DAVIS
RON ARTEST
RUBEN PATTERSON
SAM CASSELL
SATAN
SHAUN LIVINGSTON
TJ FORD
VINCE CARTER

Some surprises on the list: Only one for Vince. More for Amare than Nash. LeBron having a better season than I realized. Dirk with only three, hurt by the dominance of Dallas as a team.

I think that Player of the Y.E.A.R. is just as valid a trophy as MVP. If we go by how the award has been handed out in recent years, I have no idea what the MVP trophy is supposed to be about. Is it the best player in the league? Best player on the best team? A good player who is the most essential to a bad team in making them above average? The people who vote for the award do not even know what they are voting for anymore. There should really be two separate trophies: MVP, and Player of the Year (Not Y.E.A.R., that’s a trophy decided by one dictator. Me.).

Kobe would be Player of the Year, and MVP would have been in my opinion, Steve Nash. If he won it twice in a row – right or wrong – how can you take it away from him when he has an even better season than in back to back MVP years? Dirk can use all of this as motivation in the playoffs. It’s always good to have that one angry guy ready to exact vengeance. Jordan against Karl Malone. Hakeem against David Robinson. Kobe against Steve Nash last year (remember Kobe posterized him in game 1 or 2). And now Dirk against everyone.

But nevermind all of that. The Player of the Y.E.A.R. is Kobe Bryant, at the end of an accumulation of 111 Player of the D.A.Y. posts. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed what Sawyer from LOST would call an “Afternoon delight”, all season long.