NBA MVP Debate: Kobe or LeBron? Or Maybe Even Wade?
The 2009 NBA season is less than a week into the second half but it appears that it is strictly a two horse race already for the coveted season-ending NBA MVP Award. And it's a battle royale between two of the most recognized athletes in the world: LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kobe Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Talk to other NBA players and listen to media members and you'll get votes cast roughly 50-50 for both men, a clear indicator that this race is going to go down to the wire and be very close. LeBron has a slightly higher scoring average than Kobe (James in fact leads the NBA in that category), but Bryant has the Lakers positioned with the top record in the NBA. James also has better stats in other areas, such as rebounding and assists. But again, Kobe is the engine that drives the Lakers and they have the top record in the league.
An interesting debate that is likely to range on throughout the rest of the season. Talk to either player and they'll both say they're more concerned with the NBA Playoffs in the spring but the MVP Award is still always a big deal. Bryant won it last year (his first ever) while James is seeking his first. Whoever gets the 2009 MVP Award also unofficially gets the title of best basketball player on the planet. Who do you think will win 2009 NBA MVP? Or do you think should win it? Or is there another darkhouse candidate out there that can still make a charge late in the season?
MARCH 11 UPDATE: and just like that, we have had a legitimate third NBA MVP candidate emerge: Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat. With a scorching streak in recent weeks, which has seen him take over the NBA scoring lead, Wade has been stealing headlines and some MVP momentum from leading candidates James and Bryant. We just may end up with a three horse race down the stretch here!
MAY 10 UPDATE: it's official - LeBron James is the newest NBA MVP. In his sixth season, LeBron has earned the prestigious award based on being one of the top scorers in the league and leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the top league record and #1 playoff seed.