Is Kobe Bryant a serious NBA MVP candidate in 2012?

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Kobe BryantAfter the Los Angeles Lakers 93-83 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday, former Lakers great and current NBA analyst, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, stated Kobe Bryant’s name should be added to the list of MVP candidates for the 2011-12 NBA season.  The two other names on that list are Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and LeBron James of the aforementioned Heat.  Both the Thunder and Heat are currently in contention for the best record in their respective conferences and are among the favorites to advance to the NBA finals.  For Bryant, Sunday’s performance made his third consecutive game of 30 or more points since breaking his nose in the All-Star game.  But is he MVP worthy?

The NBA MVP is not only the most valuable player on his team but his contributions significantly enhance his team’s status.  After a rocky start the Lakers have crept their way to the top of the Pacific division standings and are currently third in the Western Conference.  Throughout the Lakers 36 games this season Bryant has averaged 28.8 points a game, with just fewer than five assists and six rebounds.

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Without a doubt the Lakers wouldn’t be where they are without Bryant’s play.  In his 16th season, Kobe appears to have a new lease on life now that the restrictions of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense have been removed from his game.  Bryant is currently on pace for his fourth best scoring average per game.  That doesn’t normally happen for players this late in their careers.

The Lakers have been the center of many trade rumors this season and the fact that they are in first place after not having successfully pulled the trigger on any is a testament to Kobe Bryant’s contributions.  Not to mention that the team is without last season’s NBA six man of the year in Lamar Odom .

So is Kobe a legit MVP candidate?  You better believe it.  And if the Lakers have continued success throughout the remainder of the regular season and advance deep into the playoffs he’ll get serious consideration.  Of the three MVP candidates, Bryant is arguably on the least capable team and what he has been able to do so far is nothing short of amazing.  If Kobe wins the MVP it will be his second.  He last earned the honor in 2008 when the Lakers advanced to their first of three consecutive NBA Finals where they were over powered by a more physical Boston Celtics team.

This story is to be continued…

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.

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2 Responses to Is Kobe Bryant a serious NBA MVP candidate in 2012?

  1. Ginai says:

    Go Kobe!!

  2. p2day says:

    Kobe? No way. Look at his stats. Shooting %, rebounds, assists, steals. Give me a break. Gunners aren’t MVP’s.

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