Thursday, April 06, 2006

Nash for NBA MVP? Not again

Steve Nash won the NBA MVP race last year. Sigh.

If he wins it again, and going by the "experts" he seems a lock, I swear I am going to file a motion in the court of David Stern.

The bottom line is, Steve Nash shouldn't win the Maurice Podoloff trophy this year. And let me assure you, he wasn't the most deserving candidate last year either.

Look. Basketball is a simple game. Score and stop. Find ways to score and find ways to stop others from scoring. This is no String Theory. This is the right and only way to play ball.

Want your name to be floated in the MVP race? You gotta impact both ends of the floor. Period.

The only way I see Nash making a twopeat is if the people who voted for him before do it again -- not for basketball reasons but only to vindicate themselves. Come on, who would not? Are you willing to accept that you made a blunder last season? Very few would.

Come April, as the MVP race heats up (assuming it is a bona fide race with at least two legit candidates; the only exception was of course when MJ was playing, there wouldn't be a second one), the age old recycled arguments appear time and time again -- a fine job though, year after year without the colored bins.

Who are we kidding here?

Clearly what defines the MVP is fairly subjective with opinions as diverse as the statistical conclusions from a sample size of five. While I understand Commissioner Stern came up with a dress code for players (would eventually be recognized as The Stern Commandments), the fact that the most prestigious individual basketball honor is left to the free-flowing interpretations of the pundits with agenda of their own is a bit sad.

I am not complaining. In democracy, for every Bill Clinton there is a George Bush.

(However, to keep the sanctity of the award I hereby request the Commissioner to whisper a few choice words through the proper channels.)

I love Steve Nash. He is one heck of a baller. I fully appreciate what he did last season. I marvel at what he is doing now without the services of a certain Amare Stoudemire. I am aware of every argument the educated analysts are going to pour over in the next few weeks.

True, the Phoenix Suns are a joy to watch and it starts with their master conductor Steve Nash. Night in and night out they play the team ball rarely skipping a beat or two. A perfect harmony for all there to see and feel good. The blending is a smoothie. But make no mistake, the credit here must go to Mike D'Antoni (who got the Coach of the Year award quite deservingly, and I don't have a problem with that).

If I recall correctly, it was Eric Neel of ESPN Page 2 who started the Nash for MVP ball rolling last year and he turned out to be dead on.

As the Nash for MVP movement gained steam, my feelings were mixed. I was disappointed because deep down, I felt, Nash, no matter how good, is simply not MVP-caliber. At the same time I was happily amused watching the whole saga unfold in layers with more twists than in The Sopranos. After all, here is a MVP debate where basketball took a backseat giving way to hogwashing. For good measure, Dan LeBatard threw in his theory of color and the world went nuts.

Don't you love free speech and democracy?

The controversies, however, had little to do with Nash's proficiency with basketball, and more to do with his so called underdog status and he being a small (NBA size and not Wal-Mart) white guy with freaky hairdo.

This is America. You mention a color from the visible spectrum of light you are labeled as a racist. Let me tell you this, no matter how sick it sounds on your face, Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald had a point.

Coming back to Nash for MVP movement, you would never ever hear the pundits talk about his defense or lack of it. The same pundits would go on and on and on how defense wins championships. Disgusting.

How can you legitimately argue for a MVP case without mentioning his ability to play defense? Beyond me.

Yes, I too have an agenda. It is basketball.

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