L.A. Times: This year’s most-valuable-player race is expected to be close. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson’s nominee is the one he has seen up close for a while.

“Best year ever as far as an overall team player,” Jackson said of Kobe Bryant. “I think the judgment that I kind of make is, how much better do you make your teammates? This has been one of Kobe’s finest years in that regard.”

Jackson also credited Derek Fisher’s return and steadying influence as improving Bryant’s comfort level.

But of course, every nominee has someone supporting that role.

“I take a lot of the credit myself. I haven’t been playing lately, so Kobe has to have a lot of it,” Jackson deadpanned.

Jackson said he is not shocked that Bryant has not won an MVP award in his 11-year career.

“With Shaq[uille] O’Neal on his team for [eight] of those years, basically Kobe was going to be a second choice as far as the most valuable player on that team,” he said. “Since that time, not making the playoffs the subsequent year, there wasn’t an opportunity.

“The following year, he really had an exceptional year. He led the league in scoring. He had some outrageous games . . . that was the year that I would have guessed he could have been named as MVP, but with [ Steve] Nash coming and the really unbelievable season Phoenix had, you had to consider that as a factor.”

  • sammie

    I hope kobe can finally get one, but chris paul and kevin garnett are getting pretty close too.

  • http://llll@yahoo.com KOBE_4_president

    ThaZ riTe MVP RING NUMBER 4!!!!!!!!!

  • DCLAKER

    Stern,you better read this article!

  • MILO

    Yes as it also was the last two seasons, so for all you writers or reporters/haters out there .As far as im concerned, you can stick you’re MVP up you’re ass! everyone knows that Kobe has been getting robbed for it the last couple of seasons.ALL KOBE REALLY CARES ABOUT IS THE SHIP!!!!!!!!!

  • jack

    his near 3ple double are big points; but 2 losses against bad teams @ home certainly helps paul.

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #31481 Will Be Quoted Here]

    it’s not called a ‘SHIP’, it’s called a ‘CHIP’

  • gugy

    Damn Right!

  • DCLAKER

    Like I said before,IF KOBE DOESN’T GET MVP……STERN BETTER WATCH YA’BACK,FAT F#@$!!!

  • two0one7

    What does Stern have anything to do with the MVP? He has no vote in that.

  • heffajoint

    DCLAKER, you realize it’s not up to David Stern right? It’s up to the media to vote for MVP, not David Stern.

  • DCLAKER

    He’s the commissioner,the key word is “mission”,and we ALL know at LAKERNATION that Stern has it in for Kobe(The Infamous Trial,etc.)and all kobe has done is build his name back up,AND I MEAN WAAAAAAAAAAAY UP to MVP status.

    How could anybody even ask ‘what does Stern have to do with the MVP’,that’s like asking “what does the President have to do with the WAR’.

  • heffajoint

    DCLAKER, you’re a funny dude. David Stern has absolutely nothing to do with the MVP other than showing up to give it to the winner. To put David Stern in the same category as our idiot President is retarded. Bad analogy. So you’re saying you think there’s a conspiracy that involves David Stern secretly making the sports writers vote a certain way? You don’t think that’s a little far fetched? Do you think he secretly makes fans vote a certain way too for the All Star? Did he go to your house and say don’t vote for Kobe on the All Star team or else your toy bunny gets it? Come on dude! Are you still in grade school? Do you believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy? Did David Stern secretly have San Antonio win the championship last year? Did he make Mitch trade Shaq? Did you see a UFO outside your window last night and no one believes you?

  • DCLAKER

    Hell yeah I believe in IFO’s. C’mon y’all eally think the fans and the media have as much say as the Commiss.,PLEASE.

    Who should have won the last 2 yrs.,please answer that one correctly.I have brothers who can’t stand Kobe and they both say he got robbed.

    ….and speaking of the All-Star Game(2008),WHO SHOULD’VE GOTTEN MVP AFTER BRINGING THE EAST BACK FROM A LARGE DEFICIT,NO NOT LBJ BUT RAY ALLEN,OH!THE FANS AND THE MEDIA HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT TOO,HUH!Well if that’s case then fans shouldn’t vote,Media’s another story,they’re Professionals.

    By the way,do you(those who questioned my comments)think that people who vote sends The Elected to The White House,WRONG,IT’S THE SENATE(WHOA).

  • MILO

    [Comment ID #31551 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I couldn’t have said it better!!!

  • heffajoint

    DCLAKER & MILO… you guys crack me up. “Reading is FUNdamental” Remember that commercial the NBA did? You guys didn’t pay attention did you?

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #31551 Will Be Quoted Here]

    DC… The President can’t start a war unless The Senate approves the funding of a war. The president basically can say he wants to shoot someone but the Congress has to give them the gun.

    I am still having trouble what you mean by this comment..do you(those who questioned my comments)think that people who vote sends The Elected to The White House,WRONG,IT’S THE SENATE(WHOA).

    What does that mean???????? Also, what is an IFO???

    As far as basketball is concerned, PJ said that Kobe deserves the MVP this yr. but he never said kobe deserved it the past two yrs. In fact he understood why Nash got it. I agree with PJ that this yr and not past yrs. is where kobe could get the MVP.

    You sound like a person who believes everthing is a conspiracy. Did Bush knock down the twin towers??? And did the Government invent Aids to kill Black people??? I am very serious in wanting to know your opinion.

  • DCLAKER

    I’m on to the next subject but I respect the dialogue,WHAT UP MILO!