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Amen, Rasheed!

I was reading up on league stuff and came across this quote from Rasheed Wallace in the Detroit News. Wallace was asked who would he pick for MVP, Nash or Nowitzki. He said neither. He was then asked who would he give it to if not Nash or Nowitzki, and his answer was as blunt as it was legitimate.
“Somebody who plays defense. None of them play any defense. For me, my MVP vote would count for all-around play, not just for scoring buckets. Anybody can score buckets. You get that green light and anybody in this league can be the man. But not everybody in this league can make stops.”

Marcus Thompson

  • beau

    except when you’re up on the lakers by 17 in the conference finals and get several chances to seal it-getting the chance to be the man-so perhaps everybody can’t do it, right rasheed?

    i’ve yet to see a defense stop steve nash consistently. he’s a distributor, harder to stop those guys than a scorer.

  • itsagreattimeout

    Kobe can do both. He’s my MVP.

  • commish

    Don’t they give an award for that in the NBA! Otherwise wouldn’t Ben Wallace been the MVP at leat once if not twice with the Pistons?

  • gswbandwagon

    It’s not Most Outstanding All Around Individual Player, it’s Most Valuable Player. That should count the player’s individual production and how he impacts his team. A guy like Steve Nash may not play defense, but he elevates the play of those around him. Dirk, Duncan, and a few others do the same thing. That quality is much more rare than someone who plays offense and defense (MVPietrus?) and more deserving of the award.

  • EJ

    The public’s fixation on the MVP race is indicative of how shallow and individualistic the NBA has become. It’s really sad. It becomes a slap in the face to guys like Josh Howard and Amare Stoudemire (coming back from a career threatening injury, no less). A lot of it comes from the media who overblow the hype of the MVP race, and then get on Kobe for throwing up too many shots or Dirk for not playing any D. Then you have networks exploiting high profiles games with ‘D-Wade vs LeBron’.

  • ej

    gswbandwagon, if you wanna talk about Most Valuable then Kobe is MVP. The Suns are a playoff team without Nash, and a contender with him. The Lakers are lottery bound without Kobe, and a contender with him. How big of a drop off is that??

  • Marcus Thompson

    EJ, that about qualifies as a sermon. You keep on preaching! We need some of that perspective on this blog.

  • Anonymous

    Bryant doesn’t make anyone around him better. He’s all about Kobe Bryant. LA is 3-2 in games he doesn’t play. The Suns, for all their talent, are 2-4 without Nash.

    Dirk’s supporting cast isn’t all that much better than Bryant’s. The best player on those two teams (besides Dirk and Bryant) is Odom. Phil Jackson is supposed to be one of the top coaches of all time in any sport. Bryant’s bigs are marginally better than Dirk’s. Dirk’s guards and depth are much better, but not 25 games better.

    Also, it seems a little weird to me that a member of the media writes about the MVP race and then praises someone for responding with a complaint that the media talks about the MVP race too much.

  • Marcus Thompson

    I disagree that Kobe doesn’t make anyone better. You mean to tell me Smush Parker would be a starting point guard if he wasn’t playing next to Kobe?
    Another thing. The record when the guy is absent is not the best barometer for his value. The fact that Phoenix loses when Nash not there is also a product of the system. Teams like the Lakers and Mavericks, when they’re best player isn’t there, it changes how they play. Phoenix is so committed to the system, they don’t change. When Baron is out, the Warriors play a much different style. For starters, they all but abandon the pick-and-roll. We’ve seen the Warriors look pretty good without Baron. But that doesn’t reflect his value to the team.
    You take Kobe, Nash and Dirk off their teams and ask any coach or GM which team would they rather go into a season with. They all would say the Suns.

  • gswbandwagon

    oops, didn’t mean to post as anonymous before.

    Jiri Welsch (in his 2nd NBA season and only year not superglued to the bench) was a starting guard on a playoff team. There have been lots of crappy and mediocre players to start in the NBA, even on playoff teams. LA runs the triangle which doesn’t require a pg anyway. I don’t recall Phil Jackson ever having a really good pg on any of his teams.

    Nash makes Phoenix go. They do have a ton of talent besides him, but as you say they’d have to totally change their style and hope it works. I think they won like 30 games with Marbury in there instead of Nash a few years ago (and with a different style). Players around Nash almost invariably play better than they do without him.

    Dirk IMO is the MVP this year. His supporting cast (coaching included) is not all that much better than Bryant’s. Dirk’s team is currently 21 games up on Bryant’s and climbing. The Mavs are on pace for a top 5 All Time regular season and they’re doing it on the strength of Dirk, a 2nd year coach, and a bunch of guys who are solid to pretty good. Erick Dampier, whose main contribution in non-contract seasons is attendance counting, is the starting center on a top 5 all time regular season team!

  • EJ

    But, you talk about ‘Most Valuable’, it has to be Kobe. the Lakers are nothing without him. Odom hasn’t even been close to form this season and they’re still going to make the playoffs with guys like Luke, Smush, Kwame, Bynum, and Vlad. None of those guys would crack the starting lineup on the Warriors even.

    Now. Put Nash or Dirk with those 5. Do they make the playoffs? NOPE! What a difference a Kobe makes, eh? Put Kobe on the Suns or Mavs in place of Nash and Dirk right now. Instant title favorite, no question. If only Cuban or Colangelo could be so lucky.

    And how can you compare Dirk’s cast with Kobe’s?? Let’s see: Howard vs Odom, Stackhouse vs Walton, Terry vs Smush, Vujacic vs Harris, Damp vs Bynum, and hell even Croshere vs Kwame!! How is that not much better than the Lakers??? That’s 1,000,000,000,000 better than Kobe’s!

  • gswbandwagon

    Odom isn’t doing better because he has to suppress his game to make way for Bryant and Bryant’s ego. Even with the Kobe shackles, he’s putting up 16, 10, and 5 (as an aside, Odom would be perfect for the Warriors).

    Swapping players is pure speculation, but I think the Mavs would be hard pressed to not do worse with Bryant than they currently are. They’re on pace for 68-70 wins. Suddenly all their slashing perimeter guys are useless because they’ll never see the ball with Bryant around. They wouldn’t have anyone to pull boards or distribute from the big positions (like LA has with Odom). Could Avery Johnson handle the Kobe circus? That’s a 55-60 win team with Bryant instead of Dirk imo. LA would be about a 50-52 win team with Dirk and Odom running the triangle.

  • EJ

    I don’t think Odom’s lack luster performance this year is a reflection on Kobe’s ego as much as it is to personal reasons (ie. the passing of his son in the offseason). And he would be a perfect fit for the W’s, no doubt!

    Kobe bought into Phil Jackson’s desire for him to distribute more early on in the season. However, that was when the majority of the roster was healthy. Injuries and inconsistant play has moved the focus of the offense back to Kobe. He dropped 50+ 4 straight times and they won each game.