The Zen Master speaks…

O.C. Register: At noon Thursday, the NBA MVP ballot detailed below is due in the league office in New York. And where to put Kobe Bryant on that ballot was an intriguing question, especially after hearing Phil Jackson’s answer to a seemingly softball question to name the Lakers’ MVP this season.

“Kobe for the first 50 games,” Jackson said. “But I think the last 30, Pau (Gasol) has played very well for us.”

It was borderline condemnation of Bryant’s pre-eminence as much as it was promotion for Gasol in the postseason awards, where he’ll be fortunate to make third-team All-NBA given the depth of talent at his forward position and his 17-game injury absence. To suggest that Bryant was only the Lakers’ MVP for 60-something percent of the season is radical, no matter how tremendous Gasol’s productivity and efficiency have been.

Some of it is Bryant being injured this season – the broken finger, back spasms, ankle tendon and sore knee. Some of it is Bryant, appreciating a little better how Shaquille O’Neal used to see it, adjusting the intensity in the regular season as he’s aging. Some of it is simply that he’s aging.

“The inability to go just over people and shoot the ball with people on him or at him, I think that’s something he has to adjust to,” Jackson said. “Individual vs. three or four players, sometimes he would draw a crowd and still rise above the crowd to score or to get fouled. I think those are things that now have to be measured.”

Continue reading ‘Phil: Kobe not the MVP’

  • Varick Hudson

    With Kobe as their leader and without any doubt the Laker’s MVP, and the rest of the L. A. Lakers will show all of us and the NBA exactly what it means during this 2010 NBA playoff and Championship finals, exactly what it means to have THE HEART OF A CHAMPION.

  • mytiman

    Kobe ain’t going to win the MVP no more, that’s for sure. I guarantee that. With LeBron and Wade starting to dominate this league, adding Durant plus some young stars, the Mamba’s reign as the best player in the NBA is slowly diminishing.

    If only the league divides the MVP trophy into two: 45-minute MVP and 3-minute MVP, Kobe will have a shot as he is STILL the best damn closer in the game.

  • trippleocho

    i do not care for REGULAR SEASON MVPs. It’s the Finals MVP that matters to me.

  • expo

    Too bad Nash and Dirk are walking around with a couple of his trophies!!!

  • 242LakerFan

    Nice article, Kevin. I think you hit the nail on the head. If Kobe is thinking about MVP at all, it’s about how he could grab another Bill Russel Trophy. I don’t think he cares about the Podolov at this point.
    The real season starts tomorrow.


    Its true, but PJ knows how to get his players ready, its “mind game” season as well haha. Pau’s been great w/o a doubt, but with the game on the line, Kobe’s still the guy no question. I’m sure Kobe knows he’s been struggling, I really think he put it on cruise control for the most part of the 2nd half of the season though. We’ll see, it’d really be good to get a sweep this 1st round, just to show we’re serious now.

    • 242LakerFan

      100% with you there. I really don’t think they seriously expected Pau to sink that game tying 3 pointer. I say feed the big guy for 45 minutes, but the last 3:00 is Mamba Time.

  • lakerfan2010

    Don’t start crying when artest nuts on Durants face LOL

  • lakerfan2010

    btw lakers in 4


    Hey, what’s another way to say “ThunderCat”? LOUD PUSSY! That’s exactly what you are… just noise. Such an idiotic and ignorant thing to say.

    First of all, Gay G is on his way out because of his knees, and that’s not Kobe’s issue. Don’t worry, Kobe’s not about to pass the baton just yet! The little bratty prince(ss) can whine all he wants, but he’s still not sitting on the throne just yet, that still belongs to Kobe!

  • Josh in Da 310

    Thunder Pussy you big idiot! Shut the fuck up with your stupid remarks. This is Lakersnation bitch so recognize….
    Get out of here with your hillbilly ass oklahoma team.

  • kivz

    he may not da 2010 NBA M.V.P BUT he’s da 2010 NBA Finals M.V.P :)

    • kblaker4life

      That’s right, I would rather see Kobe holp up that Finals MVP. Lebron can have his league MVP- i dont give a beeepp, as long as kobe gets his Finals MVP. Kobe still needs a couple of Finals MVP to challenge Michael.

  • kblaker4life

    I love Kobe and I’m a huge kobe fan, but i think Kobe now has to adjust his game a little bit. Be smarter with his shots, take it to the basket when the lane is open. He’s taking too many jump shots because he is aging. But when he’s jump shot is not on, he’s HORRIBLE. Kobe should take it to the hole and get everybody involved when he’s jump shot is not going. Then at the end, he can still be the best closer, he just can not dominate like he used to. Kobe will never admit that he’s aging because he’s an ultimate competitor but I hope these injuries make him realize that he’s human and he needs to take some night off. Phil’s comments are true and I totally agree with it. But I think Kobe’s game will be fine, the biggest challenge for him this playoff will be HOW TO LEAD THIS LAKER TEAM TO A BACK TO BACK CHAMPION.

    • Marwan Marzina

      Don’t forget last year, the Lakers beat the Nuggets mostly because Kobe was a facilitator throughout the game. Thats what we need from him. And when the game is on the line, or if he needs to take over the game, then he can take his shots.

  • Robert

    Firstly, the headline is incorrect and misleading. Incorrect because it should have read: Kobe is not the ONLY MVP. Misleading because perhaps Phil was speaking of the MVP of the Lakers, not the NBA (no way that Pau is in the “league MVP” discussion – or at least, the top 5 in the league).
    So if we’re talking about the MVP of the league, for THIS year, Kobe ended up 4th in the voting, simply ‘because’ (in their ‘excuse’ of an explanation) he relied on other members of the Lakers (notably Pau) to win the West Conf. lead. (but we all know they want to pick LeBrick every year from now on).
    Unfortunately, Kobe got injured early. He was on a path to shoot at least 49% this year, which would have been a record for him. His game was actually getting BETTER. Remember? His accuracy was improving, and this would have been a red letter year for Kobe to dispel all the rumors of “Kobe is losing a step”. But he got ‘injured’, physically – with something that can heal up and with which he can return to form – namely, his index finger. He simply CAN’T use it now the way it is needed. It has also led to his compensating by putting more stress on his legs. But when he heals, he’ll be back in full form.
    For now, of course Kobe and Pau have had their share of MVP moments (on the Lakers) but the Lakers simply can’t content for a Championship without Kobe.
    I think in the case of Phil’s comments, he HAD to give some props to Pau so that Pau will perform well in the playoffs, and not lose his performance confidence (recall that he was missing shots/ free throws, etc. during parts of March?). That’s not like Pau. Anyway, Phil knows what to say to his team.

  • Laker4 Life

    If Kobe gets his shooting touch back then nobody can stop the lakers period. Oh and if Artest plays great defense throughout the playoffs the lakers will win the title. GO Lakers!