debate not over: Maybe Dirk ISN'T the MVP

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who is the MVP?

Dirk, or course. Best player on the best team. Case closed.
3
21%
Nash. No one makes his teammates better and he, unlike Dirk, is having a career year.
6
43%
Kobe. Without him, the Lakers couldn't even pronounce playoffs.
4
29%
Dunleavy. For being traded away!
1
7%
 
Total votes : 14

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:27 pm
I agree with Jemele Hill. I would vote for Nash, Kobe and Dirk in that order. Dirk doesn't compare in the clutch...

Monday, April 9, 2007
Nowitzki or Nash? Dirk's case needs evidence
By Jemele Hill
Page 2

Two weeks left in the NBA season. Do you know who your NBA MVP is?

Me, I'm still not sure. Like many of my other media colleagues, I'm trying to follow the memo that this is Dirk Nowitzki's MVP to lose. Only I need some convincing.

When I hear people say that Dirk has the MVP wrapped up, it makes me think the race has become just as political and illogical as the Academy Awards. No one can agree on the true criteria of the award. People are sometimes rewarded for years of service rather than what they just accomplished.

Tracy McGrady had this to say about the MVP to the New York Times: "If you're going to put Kobe in there, it's not who's most valuable to their team. He is the best player in the league, no doubt. But to me, the MVP is about the overall contributions to the team and what the team has done."

Really.

"I think the MVP is an individual award and shouldn't be judged so much on team success," said Orlando Magic shooting guard Keyon Dooling. "Team awards are championships."

MVP DEBATE

Steve Nash
Points: 18.9
Assists: 11.5
Rebounds: 3.5
FG pct.: 53.4
3-pt pct.: 46.8
*PER: 23.93
Games: 71
Team: 58-19
Record without: 2-4

Dirk Nowitzki
Points: 24.7
Assists: 3.4
Rebounds: 9.1
FG pct.: 49.8
3-pt pct.: 41.4
*PER: 27.80
Games: 74
Team: 63-13
Record without: 2-0

Kobe Bryant
Points: 31.3
Assists: 5.4
Rebounds: 5.6
FG pct.: 46.2
3-pt pct.: 34.9
*PER: 26.08
Games: 72
Team: 40-37

Record without: 3-2

Stats through April 8
* John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating

OK, so not even the players can decide what makes an NBA MVP. But most of us know one when we see one.

Dirk's numbers certainly justify him being MVP. He's shooting 50 percent from the field, averaging 24.7 a game, nine rebounds and a career-high 3.4 assists. These aren't the best numbers of Dirk's career, but Dallas was the most dominant team of the regular season and Dirk contributed greatly to the Mavs' success.

(Totally irrelevant, but hilarious side note: In the 1998 NBA Draft, the Bucks traded Nowitzki to Dallas for Robert "Tractor" Traylor, who is now facing 14 months prison time for a tax crime. That has got to be in the top five with a bullet for worst NBA trades of all time. Back to the column.)

If Dirk supporters want to do a better job of convincing people Dirk is the MVP, here are a few arguments that need to be abandoned:

• The MVP should go to the best player on the best team. Generally, I believe this. In the last 25 years, the MVPs have come from teams that have won 50 games or more. But you can't use that as absolute criteria. The Pistons had the best regular-season record in the NBA last year, but voters were correct in not awarding Chauncey Billups the MVP. You couldn't look at the Pistons and discern if Billups really was the most important piece, proving that the best player isn't always on the best team.

This year's Mavericks team poses a similar problem. No question Dirk is a superstar, but is he the real reason the Mavericks have shrugged off last year's NBA Finals meltdown? Or does that credit belong to coach Avery Johnson?

Steve Nash won his second MVP, in part, because he elevated the Suns to an elite team. His impact was obvious. But at the same time, it's not fair to eliminate Kobe Bryant because the Lakers are only a 6 or 7 seed. Kobe has the least talented teammates to work with of the MVP candidates and that his team is even in the playoff hunt is a miracle. Besides, most NBA players regard Kobe as the best player in the league and that should mean something, too. Team success is an important component, but it can't be the entire equation.

"From year to year the criteria for MVP changes," Grant Hill said. "Sometimes it's the best player. Sometimes it's the most valuable player to that team. I think Dirk and Kobe have separated themselves, but I think it'll probably go to Dirk."

• The sympathy vote: Steve Nash has won enough MVPs. Give Dirk a chance! Seriously, is this professional sports? Do we care about who is winning too much or too little? You either earn the MVP or you don't. It was this thinking that led to Karl Malone picking up two unnecessary MVPs. Malone was never going to beat Jordan for a title so his MVPs were consolation gifts. Something tells me Kobe is never going to get that as a consolation prize.

• Give Nash a third and you put him in the same company as Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird. Sounds just like when people were arguing that Russell Crowe shouldn't win an Oscar for "A Beautiful Mind" since (a) he'd already won one for "Gladiator" and (b) he's Australian and you can't keep rewarding the foreigner.

Never mind that Wilt, Russell and Bird's legacies are all entrenched. Nash isn't going to challenge those three, whether he wins another MVP or not.

Besides, of any season, this is Nash's most convincing case for MVP. The Suns don't have the best record but Nash is playing at the highest level of his career. He is averaging career bests in field-goal percentage, 3-point shooting and assists.

And in head-to-head matchups in the last month with Dirk, Nash schooled Dirk on closing out close games and then the Mavericks got blasted when they visited the Suns on April 1. While some of you think it's unfair to judge a MVP race based on a couple games, realize that no matter the sport, games late in the season matter more. This was Dirk's opportunity to win the MVP without a seed of doubt, and all he did was remind us that he's still the same guy who couldn't finish off the Heat in the Finals.

• Nash hasn't even won a championship and he's going to get three MVPs? Winning a championship is not a requirement for a MVP. Yeah, I know I just killed Malone above, but he won two MVPs and didn't win a title. Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett also have MVPs, but no titles. Sure, Iverson and Malone made it to the NBA Finals, but this is a REGULAR-SEASON award.

Irrational arguments, the kind the Academy favors, don't belong in the MVP race. If Dirk supporters want to present a solid case, bring up the fact that Nash's defense is a step above atrocious, a trait no other MVP had. Bring up the fact that a MVP is a player who should be feared, not one purposely attacked in tight games because he can't defend. Bring up that everybody from Smush Parker to Flip Murray has annihilated Nash. That's an argument that will get me on your side.

Jemele Hill, a Page 2 columnist and writer for ESPN The Magazine, can be reached at jemeleespn@gmail.com.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:12 pm
I think Dirk should get it. He is not the only reason the Mavs are the best this season but he certainly has elevated his game a bit. It will be like it always is, the best team's best player wil get serious consideration and the Mavs are way ahead of the next team
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:45 pm
Nash only plays offense. It's like giving Alonzo a MVP because he's a good defensive player.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:04 am
dsigns wrote:Nash only plays offense. It's like giving Alonzo a MVP because he's a good defensive player.


Yep, but he has won the last two years that way...

I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:56 am
dsigns wrote:Nash only plays offense. It's like giving Alonzo a MVP because he's a good defensive player.

So does Dirk. What's your point?

Steve Nash deserves this MVP, but he won't get it purely because historians refuse to give any player anything more than Jordan ever got. 3 MVP's in a row won't happen... even though he's having the best season of his career.

Dirk is the obvious choice because his team won 60 games, his own averages are high, and Mark Cuban's childish ass made a gigantic scene last year when Dirk didn't win it. :roll:

Bottom line: Steve Nash was the best player in the league this year.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:52 pm
TMC wrote:I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.



You hit the nail on the head! The Mavs team is not that talented but just plays great as a team. Dirk has to get the credit for bringing them together after last season's blunder in the finals
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:26 pm
If Dirk doesn't win the MVP, Cuban will unleash hell. Honestly, we'll never hear the end of it from him... and I'm already sick and tired of hearing him bitching about (a) Dirk 'getting screwed' out of last season's MVP, (b) The Finals meltdown, (c) Don Nelson not retiring a Maverick, (d) Dwayne Wade talking about Dirk, (e) Jerry Stackhouse' suspension, blah, blah blah.

I've never heard anyone bitch as much as Dallas after last year's Finals.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:12 am
I know Cuban b*tches, but damn that much?

A) Dirk was there, but Kobe, Brand, and Nash were the top contenders. Dirk was top 5, but those three played much better than him.

B) That was Dallas' fault, pretty sure he's still complaining about those "calls."

C) Who cares? The guy never became a Mav until the late 90's. He's a Warrior at heart, no lie. Forget the rest, Oakland is where's the heart at! Once again... Cuban continues to <<<<< on and on and on.

D) Wade could talk all he wanted about Dirk. So he complains about how Shaq and Duncan played, why should he complain about D-Wade talking about his star? Sheesh, shut up Mark.

E) This deserves TMC's... "Meh..."

Minus well put a bib on this guy, and if the shoe fits.... a diaper if the Mavs don't take the title this year. He's going to be talking regardless, you know it, I know it... we don't want to, but he's going to start talking jus' like any teenagers ex-girl or ex-boy would do about their ex.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:29 am
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.



You hit the nail on the head! The Mavs team is not that talented but just plays great as a team. Dirk has to get the credit for bringing them together after last season's blunder in the finals

I give the credit to Avery, a great coach and motivator who got the Mavs playing defense. Dirk has disappeared in a number of big games, which is why I give Nash the edge, along with the fact that no one in the league makes his teammates better. Nothing in sports would be more poetic than the Ws desperation dash to the 8th seed and then the biggest upset in the history of the first round, beating the Mavs.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:25 am
I couldn't care less about what Cubes says...

A) Dirk didn't deserve MVP last year. It was between Nash and Kobe. Even Wade deserved it more.

B) They choked. Not Miami's fault.

C) Cuban fired him (more or less). Don't bitch now.

D) If anything, Dirk should talk back, not Cuban. And Wade was mostly right.

E) Meh... :mrgreen:

I like Cuban as owner, as he's the biggest reason Dallas is where it is now. He put the money on the team and signed a great coach and great players to take the team out of the bottom of the league. But that doesn't mean he's right in everything he says.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:02 am
coltraning wrote:
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.



You hit the nail on the head! The Mavs team is not that talented but just plays great as a team. Dirk has to get the credit for bringing them together after last season's blunder in the finals

I give the credit to Avery, a great coach and motivator who got the Mavs playing defense. Dirk has disappeared in a number of big games, which is why I give Nash the edge, along with the fact that no one in the league makes his teammates better. Nothing in sports would be more poetic than the Ws desperation dash to the 8th seed and then the biggest upset in the history of the first round, beating the Mavs.



I've been a big supporter of Nash and said he deserved MVP the last 2 seasons, even when people were saying that his stats are not MVP caliber and his teammates are what makes him look good, yadi yada. As far as making his teammates better, Nash is probably top5 in history! This season, he has again been what he has been the last 2 seasons but even better! That being said, I think dirk has raised his game a bit and perhaps more of a teammate than he ever has been and has helped his teammates get better. Reason and the only reason why I give Dirk MVP is because his team is head and shoulders above the Suns and Spurs. The MVP is almost always the best player from the best team, if that player is a star, which Nowitzki is. If Nash gets it, great for him and he would deserve it as well
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:34 pm
32 wrote:If Dirk doesn't win the MVP, Cuban will unleash hell. Honestly, we'll never hear the end of it from him... and I'm already sick and tired of hearing him bitching about (a) Dirk 'getting screwed' out of last season's MVP, (b) The Finals meltdown, (c) Don Nelson not retiring a Maverick, (d) Dwayne Wade talking about Dirk, (e) Jerry Stackhouse' suspension, blah, blah blah.

I've never heard anyone bitch as much as Dallas after last year's Finals.


d) I thought Dirk was running his whiny lip about how Miami didn't win it, Dallas lost it. Dwayne, being the classy guy he is, said that Dallas would have won it if Dirk hadn't choked. This ofcourse was the truth and Cuban should go sit on a stick.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:20 am
migya wrote:
coltraning wrote:
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.



You hit the nail on the head! The Mavs team is not that talented but just plays great as a team. Dirk has to get the credit for bringing them together after last season's blunder in the finals

I give the credit to Avery, a great coach and motivator who got the Mavs playing defense. Dirk has disappeared in a number of big games, which is why I give Nash the edge, along with the fact that no one in the league makes his teammates better. Nothing in sports would be more poetic than the Ws desperation dash to the 8th seed and then the biggest upset in the history of the first round, beating the Mavs.



I've been a big supporter of Nash and said he deserved MVP the last 2 seasons, even when people were saying that his stats are not MVP caliber and his teammates are what makes him look good, yadi yada. As far as making his teammates better, Nash is probably top5 in history! This season, he has again been what he has been the last 2 seasons but even better! That being said, I think dirk has raised his game a bit and perhaps more of a teammate than he ever has been and has helped his teammates get better. Reason and the only reason why I give Dirk MVP is because his team is head and shoulders above the Suns and Spurs. The MVP is almost always the best player from the best team, if that player is a star, which Nowitzki is. If Nash gets it, great for him and he
would deserve it as well
not sure I can go with you on the best team trip - Malone and Robinson are just two examples of that not being the case...btw, props to the brave iconoclast who voted for Dunleavy (probably mrs. dunleavy) :D
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:58 am
coltraning wrote:
migya wrote:
coltraning wrote:
migya wrote:
TMC wrote:I think Dirk deserves it. Take a look at Dallas' roster and it's not as good as their record. I mean, Howard is great, Terry and Harris are decent and Stackhouse has developed as a reliable sixth man, and that's a good roster, but not better than, say, Phoenix or San Antonio. I really think that Nowitzky has improved the whole team, something not so easy to do from the PF spot.



You hit the nail on the head! The Mavs team is not that talented but just plays great as a team. Dirk has to get the credit for bringing them together after last season's blunder in the finals

I give the credit to Avery, a great coach and motivator who got the Mavs playing defense. Dirk has disappeared in a number of big games, which is why I give Nash the edge, along with the fact that no one in the league makes his teammates better. Nothing in sports would be more poetic than the Ws desperation dash to the 8th seed and then the biggest upset in the history of the first round, beating the Mavs.



I've been a big supporter of Nash and said he deserved MVP the last 2 seasons, even when people were saying that his stats are not MVP caliber and his teammates are what makes him look good, yadi yada. As far as making his teammates better, Nash is probably top5 in history! This season, he has again been what he has been the last 2 seasons but even better! That being said, I think dirk has raised his game a bit and perhaps more of a teammate than he ever has been and has helped his teammates get better. Reason and the only reason why I give Dirk MVP is because his team is head and shoulders above the Suns and Spurs. The MVP is almost always the best player from the best team, if that player is a star, which Nowitzki is. If Nash gets it, great for him and he
would deserve it as well
not sure I can go with you on the best team trip - Malone and Robinson are just two examples of that not being the case.


????
David Robinson's Spurs of 1994/95 had the best record that season at 62-20 and he got MVP. Malone's Jazz had the second best record that season with 64-18 to Jordan's Bulls 69-13. He had perhaps his best season ever that season and deserved MVP. The following season, both the Jazz and the Bulls had the league's best record but Jordan got MVP that time
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:20 am
migya wrote:
????
David Robinson's Spurs of 1994/95 had the best record that season at 62-20 and he got MVP. Malone's Jazz had the second best record that season with 64-18 to Jordan's Bulls 69-13. He had perhaps his best season ever that season and deserved MVP. The following season, both the Jazz and the Bulls had the league's best record but Jordan got MVP that time

I wasn't clear. I think Jordan and Olajuwon were clearly superior players those years, but you are right as to record. Interesting that Nash has had 2 monster games in a row to cement his case. Including an 18 assist no turnover gem most recently! I wonder if D'Antoni sits Nash on Tuesday against the Clips, since they will be coming off a back to back with Houston. I am guessing no, since it is the last home game of the season.
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