The Round Stones Beneath the Earth

By all accounts, Steve Nash is yet again the MVP frontrunner. Nobody else seems to have a problem with this, but if Nash hoists the Maurice Podoloff Trophy (henceforth known as Mo-Pod) at season’s end, your man Brickowski is liable to lose it. I’m not even sure Nash is the most valuable Sun. Shawn Marion leads Phoenix in points, rebounds, blocks, steals and minutes played. Read that last sentence again. He’s in the top 16 in the League in those categories as well as field goal percentage. I’m assuming that means he’s the only player in the league to be in the top 20 in 6 different categories, but I’ll leave it up to you nerds to tell me if I’m wrong. I need to go watch the Sopranos.

Yet, no matter what Marion does, Nash seems to get all of the credit. The popular line of thinking is that Nash is the masterful conductor, constantly pushing the break and getting his teammates easy points. I understand that he’s the engine behind the Suns profligate offense, and I fully admit that he gets Shawn a couple of dunks a night, but judging by the way everyone speaks of the Suns you almost start to think that he’s also responsible for Marion’s boards, swipes and swats. Nash is unquestionably the best passer this side of J. Kidd, but I dare you to find me a better finisher than the Matrix. His freakish leaping ability provided him with a nickname, but don’t ignore the wide receiver hands that allow him to snare damn near everything, or the soft touch that he uses on that odd occasion when he’s incapable of hammering it home. Last I heard an alleyhoop required more than one individual.

Further, anybody who has watched the Suns this season knows that the little Canadian isn’t the only Sun racking up assists by lobbing the ball in the general vicinity of Marion. Turn on NBATV Daily on any given night and you’re likely to see at least one clip of Boris Diaw lobbing to Marion from the high post. Young Diaw is averaging four more assists than his career average, yet I’ve never once heard anyone extol Marion for his ability to get his teammates “easy assists.” But Nash probably deserves the credit for Boris’ passing too, right? He puts Diaw in position to assist Marion, or maybe it’s just because “passing is contagious.”

When was it decided that passing is more important than finishing? It wasn’t always this way. Stockton is the game’s all-time assists leader, but he never got credit for all the shit Mailman did when Malone was winning MVPs. And why wasn’t Kidd hauling in MVP trophies when his arrival in New Jeruz suddenly had the Nets playing in consecutive NBA Finals? If you still doubt my claim that there’s been a sea change over the last few years in the way passing points are valued, please recall that Luke Fucking Ridnour received an Olympic invite and Allen Iverson did not. What could have caused such a seismic shift in the basketball landscape? I’m going to follow Larry Brown’s lead and blame the whole thing on Marbury.

Marbury’s return to NY, you’ll recall, paved the way for Nash’s resurrection of Phoenix. More significant, however, was the shoot-first game Marbury practiced while he was a Sun. Despite the presence of both Marion and Amare (AKA THE TWO BEST FINISHERS IN BASKETBALL) Stephon insisted on dominating the ball, charging the paint with the rock tucked-away like a fullback, and then throwing up tear drops. Marbury, along with post-Jordan contemporaries Iverson and Francis, pushed the limits of the point guard position so far that he spawned a league wide backlash among the purist set.

The problem with writing these types of articles is that you inevitably have to offer a viable alternative. The truth is I really don’t care who wins the award as long as it’s not Nash. By now I’m sure that you have seen the list of players who have won multiple MVP awards. It’s a restricted club and Karl Malone is the only member who lacks a championship ring. But the list of players who have hoisted the Mo-Pod in consecutive seasons is even more exclusive, and reads like a catalog of the sport’s patron saints: Russell, Chamberlain, Kareem, Moses, Larry, Magic, Michael and Duncan (see how I did that?). You must have a bare minimum of two titles under your belt to be considered for this territory. Nash hasn’t even played in the Finals!

But since any hacky MVP article requires a candidate and an argument for that candidate, here’s mine: Dirk. He’s led his team to a better record than the Suns and isn’t nearly the defensive liability that Nash is. As far as supporting casts go, I’ll take Marion and Diaw over Terry and Howard any day of the week. Don’t get it twisted: this is no Free Dirko campaign. I would be thrilled if Lebron won the award, but he’ll have an armful of them by the time he’s done. The MVP is something that should be shared among the sport's greatest players. Barkley, Hakeem, Robinson, Iverson and Garnett have all taken their turn before handing it over to another deserving candidate the following season. Nash belongs in the same company as these guys. He just doesn't deserve to be in the other group.

Unrelated note #1: This has been on the internets for a minute, but I’m posting it here anyways, if only because it’s nice to find that someone has an even more psychotic relationship with the Association than FreeDarko. I give you the work of Thumboy. This Aussie has spent a great deal of time photoshopping half of the Lig into family portraits in the style of sick-fuck Richard D. James. In addition to T-Mac the artist has also captured many a FreeDarko fave, including Ha Seung Jin, AK, Krstic, ZAZA, J-Smoove, JR Smith, and Darko himself.

Unrelated note #2: Over the weekend FreeDarko gave birth to a myspace site. Like Wes Wesley, I go to great lengths to keep my name off the internets, and personally don’t get the myspace craze. But we’ve heard that it’s a good way to get famous and find casual sexual encounters, so we figured we might as well give it a try. Plus, Andrew Bynum had a MySpace page and now he’s in the NBA. You never know. So if you want to be our friend, or if you just want to listen to some Big L, hit us up at: http://myspace.com/freedarko


At 4/03/2006 10:46 AM, Anonymous aug said...

Maybe it'll be different with shaq back, but it has to say something about dwade to keep getting "outduled" and losing. I don't even want to mention being put on all the nenad kristic posters of the world.

I agree about Nash. That's why he wasn't my mvp last year. It's not like the man took his incredible game from dallas to phoenix. He is as much a creation of the suns' system as james jones, amare, or diaw. People use the argument that players are putting up career numbers with nash. What about nash putting up career numbers in this system with these players. The only consistancy has been Marion, who is doing better, but was still a borderline all star without nash. Nash can't do the same things without the two best finishers in basketball and a flurry of 3 point fantasy stopgaps. I've watched many games where Diaw has taken over the game more so than nash. Not to say nash and his brand of cousy-esque dribbling around constantly with no look passes isn't beyond enjoyable, but the man has more than gotten his due.

At 4/03/2006 11:01 AM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Kidd SHOULD have gotten an MVP trophy when he took the Nets to the Finals. Look at what K-Mart has done since he left and you'll see the proof of that.

I think the whole business is a result of... wait for it... 24-hour news coverage. Yes, I know that's tired as hell as an excuse, but we start arguing MVP way too early and by the time we've dissected everyone's game, there is never a clear-cut winner for the award. It's not just in basketball. Baseball had the ridiculous Ortiz-Rodriguez-Guerrerro arguments all of last season. By the time voting actually happened, everyone was fed up with the whole thing.

So I think you're right that an anti-Marbury backlash let Nash win the MVP and put him in position to win another. But that only happened because the idea that the MVP goes to the best player, period, was smashed over the course of a long, tiresome news campaign. And that allowed the purist agenda to dictate the MVP race.

If you ask me, though, a lot of the problem stems from the fact that the award is called the Most Valuable Player award. Whose fucking idea was that? Can it get any more vague than that? Since the invention of the award, nobody has had any idea what it means. What would life have been like if a hundred years ago, when someone, probably a baseball writer, was inventing the Most Valuable Player award... they had instead invented the Best Player award? Would we have this sort of inane controversy if that had happened? Maybe we'd have more arguments among stat-nerds, but we wouldn't have to argue whether valuable means taking your team to the playoffs or being the best player on the worst team or just being the best player, period.

At 4/03/2006 11:04 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

this may sound a little conspiracy-minded, but here's my thinking:

kidd more than deserved it the season he engineered the (second?) biggest turnaround in nba history with two finished who, at that point, were purely his creation (jefferson since has flourished, but k-mart, unlike marion and amare, is lost without kidd and barely knows how to post up). the voters, though, went with the conventional wisdom and gave it to duncan, big man on league's best team whose numbers were excellent, but hardly screamed dominance.

this was so clearly an error that nash won it in '05 partly to make up for this. unfortunately, this just succeeded in setting a new precedent (pg maestro on domiant break team=all-star big man on sensible conference giants), one which a lot of them are having trouble bucking. at very least, they would have to find a candidate for whom they could offer a similar, applicable across all time, rationale.

i wanted to murder walton yesterday when he said shaq and duncan deserve first team. dude must watch less ball than i do. and did he also say duncan deserved the mvp, or was it just consideration he was talking about (still stupid, but not worth mentioing)?

At 4/03/2006 11:06 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

aaron, i didn't get a chance to read yours before posting mine, but i don't know why i'm surprised that multiple people would bring up kidd's snub without minutes of this piece going up

At 4/03/2006 11:20 AM, Blogger T. said...

I thought Kidd deserved it that year that he took Jersey to the Finals too.

And I didn't think Nash deserved it last year (although, like most years, I don't mind him getting the MVP either. The only really poor recent MVP choices were Karl Malone over Jordan and David Robinson over Hakeem).

Regarding the Matrix vs. Nash arguments - are we now penalizing Nash for having great teammates? Magic won the MVP even though, I could've gotten at least 3 assists a game passing to James Worthy on the block.

This season? I think there's viable arguements for a good 9 (yes 9!) candidates, so here's my list:

1. Kobe Bean Bryant - transcendant game. Lifted a crap team to the playoffs

2. Das Bron - see Bryant, but with better teammates.

3. Nash - he makes the PHX engine go.

4. Dirk - There's nothing more I hate than 7 foot german power fowards making 3 pointers against my team. He does it constantly.

5. Pau Gasol's Beard - Yeah, I know it's only on my list. But have you seen how the Grizzle are doing?

6. Marion - canceled out by Nash? Still my all-time best pre-draft call. "Oh yeah, this guy is going to be awesome - just watch" Sidenote: this was only because a friend of mine was at UNLV and working as a waiter in a strip joint and said Marion was an excellent tipper - even as a college student.

7. C-c-c-c-hauncey B-b-b-b-billlups! - The best player on the bestest team in the East.

8. Wade - Just like him enough to put him here.

9. Duncan - lots of downtime and surprisingly poor season. Still

At 4/03/2006 11:30 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

my top five, if only because i've never done a list before:

1. kobe: not for the 81, but for what he's been doing the last few weeks. how many guys you know can drop 35 a game and still make the extra pass until it's time to take over, keep the game flowing, and make kwame brown look like he should (though that might just be some competitive thing with jordan that exists only in kobe's head).

2. nash: i agree with most of what brick says, but that system could only work with nash at the controls. it's his feel for things on the floor that's allowed bell, house, etc. to have career years. diaw and marion, yes, are skilled on their own. but don't look at just what he hands them or doesn't--nash is responsible for the entire shape of any given possession. maybe "at the controls" isn't as apt a desciption as "the architect." that would make d'antoni "the engineer." or maybe it's the other way around. in any case, on as loose and spontaneous a team as the suns, hard to argue that it's a system team in the pejorative sense. more a philosophy team.

3. billups: i said this below, but he's not just the floor general--he's the go-to assassin that defines a great team.

4. bron: i don't know why, but i'm really swayed by the "he'll win plenty" argument.

5. dirk: the closest he'll ever get. and he is the dominant big man on a hard-nosed defensive team, right?

re: wade's omission. i know shaq barely exists any more, but it seems like kobe not getting one while with shaq set a precedent in that dept. i don't think any guard has ever won one while playing with one of the top-five centers, but i'm probably wrong about that.

ridiculous that guards take pressure off of centers, but centers, no matter how worn out they are, remain the defensive focus (supposedly)

At 4/03/2006 11:32 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i think the marbury backlash argument is compelling, but the nash for mvp campaign really jumped off when he was injured last year, and the suns faltered. heads started saying that if we are to take most VALUABLE player literally, doesn't it have to go to the guy whose team sucks without him in the lineup? obviously, the real problem is that the suns didn't (and don't) have a legitimate back up point guard, but people seemed to not get that. nash also had a pretty heroic playoff run last year that cinched it. or do they vote for mvp before the playoffs? i forget. anyway, i don't think there was any clear choice last year, and i have no problem with nash winning it.

but, i have to agree with brick that back-to-back mvp's implies a greatness that nash simply has not attained. i'd give it to kobe. 81, lakers in the playoffs, 62 through 3 quarters, and no one else is dominating like him right now. did i forget to mention he scored 81 points in a single game?

At 4/03/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger Vegan Viking said...

Not to be a history nerd, but to be a history nerd:

Moses has one NBA championship. And several of the other back-to-back MVPs had won 0 or 1 title before winning back-to-back MVPs.

But I know your point wasn't in the letter, but in the spirit.

At 4/03/2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on having your material stolen by sportsorbis.com.

At 4/03/2006 11:53 AM, Anonymous T-Ma(li)ck said...

i know he doesnt even deserve to be mentioned in these mvp arguments, but thats the point of this post: it used to be that it wasnt even a discussion without the cursury t-mac reference. what the hell happened to him, and what are these "personal problems" one keeps hearing about? i know he is constantly injured, but yao has replaced him as the force of the team. i guess the point is this: is the t-mac era over? as for the mvp, id be inclined to pick dirk, especially considering his vast improvement on defense this year.

that having been said, all of my association knowledge now comes from the internets, due to the fact that at this point in my life i watch zero basketball. i moved to buenos aires before the season and according to the newsmedia here nocioni is the runaway star of the league, and only his and manu's highlights are shown on sportscenter basketball-wise.

ps, anyone catch the clip of sheed, speaking to reporters about delfino (an argentine), saying "he aint no punk, they kidnap people where hes from." classic.

At 4/03/2006 12:03 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

sheed's international relations skills are something else. he seems intent on referencing what goes down in argentina when it comes to delfino, but calls darko a serbian gangster without making the obvious current events reference, like "darko's a serbian war lord."

more to the point, balkan death and destruction is like 10,000 times better known by the world than argentina's problems which, compared to some of their gullier latin american neighbors, are nothing.

but maybe this is assuming he's getting his info from the news, as opposed to just chatting with delfino the way he never did with darko.

about t-mac: someone should find a copy of that interview he did for sports talk 610 in houston on the subject of his personal problems.

At 4/03/2006 12:16 PM, Blogger emynd said...

This whole thing reminds me of the Halle Barry and Denzel Washington Academy Awards over-compensation from a few years back (minus the racial undertones).

See, the problem is, the voters mistakenly elected Nash last year. He's actually having the MVP year this year. I mean, all his numbers are up... without Amare. I really don't think it's possible to make the argument that Nash is playing worse than he is last year, and while Kobe's performances have been quite remarkable and even historic, I do think that the winner of the MVP award should be from a team that has a legitimate chance to do something in the play-offs. After all, while Kobe has thrown up the absolutely ridiculous numbers, Iverson is doing nearly the same thing in Philly and both teams are skirting around the 8th seed. Not many folks are making a case for AI here though, right? And why not? Because they're not winning enough.

Clearly, Kobe is the player that is playing the best individual basketball in the league, but the MVP award does have something to do with winning as far as I'm concerned.

But, all that being said, I do agree that Nash has no business winning two MVP awards in a row. Problem is, he shouldn't have won it last year and instead should win it this year. But, since he did win it last year, I think you gotta with Billups or 'Bron.

Let's not forget that the people voting for the MVP award are "people," which means they will very likely be affected by Billups' thorough stomping of Nash this past weekend.

I do love me some Steve Nash, though.

Is Chauncy Billups the "most FreeDarko player stuck in the least FreeDarko" situation? Perhaps we should rename this site "FreeBillups"... or perhaps just "Dismantle the Piston-Industrial-Complex."*


* Most clever thing I'm going to say for a month.

At 4/03/2006 12:44 PM, Anonymous hospital said...

MVP debates are always agonizing -- more than picking a player, everyone's just trying to guess at some old-man standards of "THAT's not a mvp, THIS is an mvp." Like, I have truly never understood why the mvp has to come from one of the best teams. Seriously, what is the reasoning? Isn't Kobe the difference between the Lakers and the...(I actually can't think of an existing team that would be quite so bereft as the Lakers without Kobe) ? Aaron is right that "valuable" is an odd construction, and that's part of the problem, but what definition of the word would include the requirement that the team be a championship contender? Is Dirk more valuable because the Mavs also have Terry, Howard, etc. in place of Mihm, Kwame...?

I'm sure everyone here is well aware of this reasoning. But somehow we have learned that MVP doesn't really mean "the most valuable player" -- rather, it's some assortment of rules and signifiers. So then in the end we're not picking a player, we're asserting (or rejecting) various sets of values. Which is basically the point of Brickowski's post, but I'd argue that he's wrestling with a set of top-down criteria (two in a row, championship-winner, etc) that's almost as arbitrary as the Marbury-backlash.

At 4/03/2006 12:46 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Anyone But Billups

At 4/03/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger ForEvers Burns said...

Going along with emynd, I don’t think Nash deserved the MVP last year, given that the Mavericks were arguably a better team without him and the Lakers were useless without Shaq. But this year, without Amare (who some argue actually deserved much of the credit Nash received) the Suns are still miraculously in 1st, despite frequently employing a line-up where their tallest player is 6’8”.

Additionally, how much better is Nash making his teammates? I don’t know, but the following Phoenix Suns players are shooting better than their career averages:

Eddie House, Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, Tim Thomas, James Jones, Kurt Thomas, Pat Burke

That’s every player who has played more than 13 games (and includes Nash himself). I have no idea if this is something unique in the league or its history, but it seems pretty remarkable to me, despite my skepticism towards stats. I’m not saying that correlation implies causality, but . . . damn!

But ultimately, I can't get past the fact that Nash is unarguably not in the “multiple MVP awards” class. What does it say about a the state of the league where one of its worse defenders can be its most valuable player? I'm not so sure that it says anything; it's the same kind of sentiment that leads some to arbitrarily choose Duncan as this years MVP "because it seems like the right thing to do" or some other inexplicable bias (like MVP = best big man on best team). Of course, I won't pretend that I'm immune to biases. Arenas for MVP!!!

At 4/03/2006 12:59 PM, Blogger Seth Anderson said...

Umm, didn't you mean Demon Bird Moth Balls instead of The Matrix?

(warning, shameless blog whoring, complete with pictures of Marion's tattoo)

At 4/03/2006 1:06 PM, Blogger emynd said...


I suppose the criteria is "arbitrary," but I really don't think things like "winning" should be left out of the equation. Fact of the matter is, the MVP has evolved to mean much more than the phrase "most valuable player" itself connotes. This isn't just "the guy who played the best all year" award. If it were, Kobe is clearly the winner. What makes the conversation an interesting one is the fact that there are so many sort've unstated (and often arbitrary) factors that go into making an MVP candidate an actual candidate.

I guess this is just a way of me saying that I kind've like that the MVP award is so unstandardized.


At 4/03/2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

P. Viking, thanks for the corrections. as we've said before this is something like open source writing, and it's always nice to fine tune things. i just assumed moses won more since he's moses. i basically know nothing about the NBA pre-1989.

not surprisingly, i'm going to have to disagree with the notion that kidd was egregiously snubbed. you can say duncan's numbers weren't dominate that year, but he still led the spurs to the best record in the league, and the 21 points, 20 boards, 10 assists and 8 blocks he put up in Game 6 of the finals against Kidd made it patently obvious who the best player in the league was that year.

At 4/03/2006 1:16 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

actually, you can't say duncan's numbers in 2002-03 weren't dominant. that year he was 6th in scoring, 3rd in rebounding, 2nd in blocks and 7th in FG%.

At 4/03/2006 2:01 PM, Anonymous TZ said...

On JKidd versus Nash...

My quibble with the Kidd for MVP talk was always his shooting, which is rather horrendous. His defense was great, his rebounding was outstanding, and he could set the table like no one else in the league. But he just cannot shoot the ball.

Nash can shoot - his FG% is ridiculous for a point guard. His shot selection is so fantastic that he's probably the third best point guard shooter in the league (behind Chchchchchauncey and Mike Bibby). Nash's downfall, of course, is that he actually cannot play defense. (It's in his contract.)

The biggest thing about Nash's repeat that worries me is the whole precedence thing. If we give Steve F. Nash back-to-back Mo-Pods, then who next? Tony Parker? Ben Gordon?

(Note: I do think Tony Parker has a shot at an MVP down the line. He's setting himself up for a Nash-like career, only with some rings and a not-homely playgirl.)

At 4/03/2006 2:05 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

If you really want to argue this, Brickowski, Duncan had himself a Twin Towers business going with David Robinson. He had the emerging talents of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili alongside him. The Nets had K-Mart and Jefferson, both entirely created by Kidd, and Jason Collins as their best big man. Without Kidd, the Nets aren't even a playoff team. Hell, with Tony Parker instead of Kidd, the Nets are barely a playoff team.

Although watching Richard Jefferson this season, I wonder if I haven't underestimated him. Part of his success is surely Kidd, but... I mean there can't be more than 10 guys in the league who could replace him. Kidd needs somebody who can run with him, especially now that his knees are starting to go, and few in this league can run like Jefferson. Not to say that Jefferson could succeed without Kidd, but perhaps Kidd couldn't succeed without Jefferson.

At 4/03/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Mirabeau Lamar said...

If the voting was for Most Dominant Player or Most Unstoppable Player, I definitely think Kobe would get the award, hands down. However, the "most valuable player to one of the best teams" award, aka the MVP, frustrating as the voting criteria is, will most likely go to Dirk, Billups or Nash. The dark horse, who no one is talking about, is Tony P(izzle), whose FG%, points in the paint and floor leadership, amazing for a 6'2" pg, have been the Spurs driving force this year, especially with injuries to Manu and Duncan. If they win just five of their last nine, SA will finish with their best regular-season record ever. Not to mention his off-court hijinks with Eva and his soon-to-drop French hip-hop album. The little Frenchman has also played in more playoff games before age 24 than anyone in league history, which may make for a badass postseason. Do I think he's more worthy than the other point guard frontrunners? Not really, I'm just saying that he's SA's leading scorer and has learned to capitalize on his blinding quickness, much to the chagrin of the defenses across the league.

At 4/03/2006 2:23 PM, Blogger Brian said...

How the hell can you put minutes played as one of the categories for shawn marion. Why dont you just put up his fantasy ranking. Minutes played may get you more stats, but its not a worthy stat leader itself. E.g. Ricky Davis is fourth in minutes played. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing other than he played alot. SO WHAT. That doesnt make him a good player - what you think of him as a player doesnt matter, what matters is that minutes played is a not a category that can quantify or qualify the essence of a player. What about players that give more production per minute played? Wouldnt they actually be considered better players - given that they generally play and are not a 5 min a night anomoly. So I think that takes Marion down to 5 categories that he is great in. Not 6 though. Should we include fouls per 48 min? Would it be better to have 5 fouls or 4 fouls per 48 minutes? who the hell knows. Its not something that does a good job of evaluating a player.

But, lets add the + - Roland Ranking which I think is a much better indicator of a players value to his team. Marion is on there so I guess he can have 6 important categories in the top twenty. BUT--- So is Nowitzki. And, Dirk doesnt have that crazy man nash feedin him the ball. The Mavs have a much better record than phoenix. There are 3 top tier teams. And the way I think, you have to pick a guy from a top tier team for MVP. So - Duncan hasnt been himself this year, Parkers been real good but not enough for MVP. So that leaves 2 guys in the NBA that I think are actually qualified for MVP, and we can take our pick between them
Dirk Nowitzki
Chauncey Billups
Anyone else would be silly.
(If the lakers were a good team Kobe would win this without any question but we'll have to leave that to whatifs.)

At 4/03/2006 2:37 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Tony will never get a whiff of MVP. He still hasn't shown he can knock down 20-footers when they count. He's a FANTASTIC regular season point guard.

I don't want to hear about a verge-of-retirement David Robinson being the reason Duncan won a title. The Admiral was less effective than k-mart that year. Make no mistake, the Spurs success starts and ends with Duncan. Parker and Bowen could not exist as is if not for Tim. Manu would be fine anywhere and Horry will always be Horry. Duncan led the team to a title in his 2nd season, watched as every single member from that team left, and then won another one with a completely different cast. stick any 4 guys around Tim Duncan and you're going to the playoffs.

At 4/03/2006 2:39 PM, Anonymous Tinns said...

I've always maintained that last year's award was unabashed Marbury-backlash. I mean, if Stockton was playing in his prime today, would he win the MVP every year just because he plays the PG the "right" way? His numbers are way way sicker than Nash's and he didn't even sniff the award. But now Nash and Kidd are a dying breed.

If last year's award was supposed to be some kind a messege to Marbury and his brethren, I bet a dime that the voters weren't expecting Nash to play like this this year, which has (obviously) really complicated things a lot.

At 4/03/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

alright, brian. you've proven that Marion is only top 15 in 5 categories and not 6. Or 6, since you included + -.

i stand corrected.

At 4/03/2006 2:47 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Dirk is:
8 in scoring
16 in rebounding
6 in efficiency
5 in FT%
15 in 3PT %

Marion is:
16 in scoring
3 in rebounding
14 in FG %
13 in Blocks
4 in efficiency

--Cant find the plus minus for this year, but I believe both guys are in the top 20.

Of note: Dirk is 29 in blocks. Didnt know he could play D, did ya?

At 4/03/2006 2:48 PM, Blogger japaja said...

I have to point out the outstanding feel of the game Nash posses and his winners mentality. This is both important for his consideration for MVP award and one of hundreds qualities he has over fucking Tony Parker

At 4/03/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Dont get me wrong Marion is a hell of a player and its a good article. I totally agree with the point of Nash should be MVP twice in a row.

At 4/03/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger Brian said...

er not MVP --- thats a typo

At 4/03/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger T. said...

someone should find a copy of that interview he did for sports talk 610 in houston on the subject of his personal problems.

It had to do with the death of his finacee's father. And that for him - it's the 8th death of someone close to him in his 8 years in the league.

There was a huge rumor that surfaced on Clutchfans that turned out to be untrue - but he mentioned it on his interview - but the rumor was so base and so shocking, that I'm not even going to repeat it here.

So I guess there's zero support for my candidate of Pau Gasol's beard?

At 4/03/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Brian, why are you arguing with me about this? I said I thought Dirk SHOULD be the MVP.

But frankly, I do think there is something to be said for minutes in an MVP debate. Marion plays two-way (unlike nash and bowen) for almost 41 minutes a night. He plays this many minutes because his team needs him to play this many minutes due to injuries to Amare, Kurt Thomas, and Brian Grant. That's a demonstration of VALUE. It's not like they could play at this pace with Tim Thomas. They're fucked without Marion. Dirk, on the other hand, is allowed to spend more time on the bench thanks to Cuban's fleet of capable defensive big men.

But again, I was arguing in favor of Dirk for MVP, not Marion.

At 4/03/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger mutoni said...

i would definitely choose Gasol, or his beard, before Nash. I'm still steaming from the fact that Steve won it last year. And he's a fellow Canuck!

At 4/03/2006 3:18 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

T., hit me on the gmail with what he rumor was. i heard the interview but can't remember it, which i think should be a testament to how little stock i place in gossip. but it's bugging me bad, like how last night i couldn't remember saigon's name.

also i'm going to speak up on one thing here: WHERE THE FUCK DID THE BACK-TO-BACK RULE COME FROM? just as the mvp isn't a lifetime achievment award, having back-to-back great seasons doesn't mean you've been put in the hall of fame.

here are some back-to-back MVP's in baseball:

dale murphy
maris (two-year wonder)
hal newhouser
frank thomas
and juan gone won two one year apart.

and denny mcclain won back-to-back ALCY's

not to impugn the greatness of these men, but no one's calling murphy an all-time great.


At 4/03/2006 3:21 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

yeah, bri, if you read the article, brick says his pick is dirk--THE SAME GUY YOU PICKED. but, your side by side comparison does support one of brick's other points--that marion is a viable mvp candidate, perhaps more viable than nash.

i know winning matters, and you shouldn't give mvp to a guy on a sub-.500 team, but kobe has willed a poorly constructed, talent-deficient team to the playoffs in a very competitive western conference. that's enough winning for me. they're currently only 2.5 games behind memphis, and at least one person (T.) is saying gasol is an mvp candidate!

i love pau gasol, and i'm glad he finally got his deserved spot on the all-star team. he's definitely slept on, but claiming he's a legit mvp candidate is a little much. even though he's clearly the best grizzlies playe, his supporting cast is much better than kobe's.

so, i guess that early season elton brand for mvp talk is totally dead now, huh?

At 4/03/2006 3:24 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

hey everybody...


not as good as the original, but his blogs have mad jokes.

At 4/03/2006 4:29 PM, Blogger T. said...

at least one person (T.) is saying gasol is an mvp candidate!

Well, I'm not saying he should win, but I would think he should get some 5th or 6th place votes. him and his beard.

At 4/03/2006 5:01 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said...

Darko for most improved.

At 4/03/2006 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is part of the problem here that MVP is based on regular-season performance, but the regular season is of limited importance, and doesn't even project well for the postseason? Take Tony Parker -- until he shows he can do it in the playoffs, there is nothing he could conceivably do in the regular season that get him even a sniff of MVP.

As for Nash, I agree with what Simmons said last year -- playing defense is literally HALF the game of basketball. If you're a liability HALF of the time you're on the court, how could you possibly be the MVP?

I want to say Billups, but in reality it's got to be Kobe. Most dominant for sure, but valuable too -- the lakers would be a twenty win team without him. AI is not doing anything equivalent in Philly, because we all know the 8 seed in the east doesn't mean shit.

At 4/03/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

lakers without kobe would be the worst team in the league.

sixers without iverson, as his been oft-mentioned on here, are looking something like

pg: ollie
sg: iguodala
sf: salmons
pf: webber
c: dalembert

that's a playoff team in the east.

At 4/04/2006 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday, in the Suns/Pistons game the courtside chat person said she had talked with Billups and Nash. Billups felt that he should get MVP and if not himself, then Nash.

Nash's response was, it is nice to be considered, but he and Billups are getting recognized because of their team play. Nash offered Marion and Nowitzki as MVP options.

At 4/04/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

I'm changing my vote. Recluse persuaded me. Of course Kobe has to win an MVP before Dirk!

This is a league of necessary steps?

At 4/04/2006 11:39 PM, Anonymous Ken Cee said...

NO BILLUPS!!! Billups is the 4th best player on that team. He's the most replaceable player out of the twelve they have (okay maybe not but their p guard position is the position where you have less responsiblity than the rest). I know that sounds weird but you have to chalk it up to how much more in place everyone else is. Without Sheed being like a quadruple threat, Ben being there to clean up and for alleyoops, and Rip being an all around basketball player, Billups would have no place on the court to operate. I think even Prince is more important. This Billups MVP talk is crazy to me. It's like saying Steve Kerr or B.J. Armstrong or Paxson was the MVP of the Bulls.

At 4/05/2006 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's what i don't get: why are true big men so much more valuable than their stats seem to indicate? that is, crazy as he may be, sheed likely gets you farther than chris paul or somesuch. the obvious examples are duncan and shaq, who seemingly could get you to the conference finals by themselves. is it dominating the paint? the combination of boards, blocks, and points? the focus they draw so others can shoot? just seems like you don't win without a serious big man unless you're jordan and have pippen by your side. i'm sure the data set i'm using is flawed, but from what i can tell, you can talk all you want about people like t-mac and such, but they're never really taking you anywhere. even kobe, good as he is, only gets you the eighth seed on his own. then again, i can't think of any other good big men right now, so maybe this is a dumb comment.


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