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Sox Appeal
01-22-2009, 12:33 AM
Kobe Bryant won his first most-valuable-player award last season, but will LeBron James prevent a repeat performance?

The Cleveland Cavaliers forward has the better statistics and a comparable team record at this point. He also has an important vote -- sort of.

Bryant seemed mildly uncomfortable when asked for his MVP choice near the season's halfway point.

"LeBron," he said. "Leave me alone about that stuff."

He then expanded upon his thoughts.

"I'm a big fan of his, obviously," he said. "I just think the world of him. Playing with him this summer [at the Beijing Olympics], and seeing his work ethic and what he's about, I just think he's terrific."

TNT, which will broadcast tonight's game between the Lakers (31-8) and Cavaliers (31-7), began debating last week which MVP candidate was having the better season.

Former NBA player Kenny Smith said Bryant was the "kind of assassin you want."

"The best player in the league is Kobe Bryant because at the end of the game, he has the track record and every time he delivers," Smith said. "Forget the playoffs, if you just watch [the Lakers] play last week, you'd say, 'This guy knows how to deliver in the last 30 seconds of a game.' "

Former NBA coach Mike Fratello, however, said Bryant had been surpassed by James.

"You know the car that is always trailing the other car and eventually catches it and goes past it? LeBron James just moved ahead," Fratello said. "This is a different version of LeBron James. The Olympic experience has made a different player out of LeBron James."

Bryant, in his 13th season, is averaging 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. James, in his sixth season, is averaging 27.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists.

Another consideration might be defense.

Bryant, 30, is averaging 1.3 steals and 0.4 blocked shots. James, 24, is averaging two steals and 1.3 blocked shots.

"Defensively, he's obviously made some improvements in terms of protecting the lane, getting steals, getting out in passing lanes, getting balls back for his team," Bryant said.

Despite their status as two of the NBA's top players, Bryant and James have never been considered friends. Their experience at the Olympics changed that, Bryant said.

"We had a chance to hit it off pretty well," Bryant said. "Normally, it's always me and LeBron, but we're always surrounded by a bunch of people. In the Olympics, we had a chance to interact, just he and I with nobody else around. It was really good for us, just to get to know each other."

-LA TIMES (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakersfyi19-2009jan19,0,2622551.story)

CavsYanksDuke
01-22-2009, 03:04 AM
Kobe's a class act.

cahawk
02-03-2009, 01:11 AM
Remember Lebron getting targeted & beat up in LA?
Someone tell me how Lebron got beat up & kobe protected, what is going on?
And tonight kobe just padded his stats against lowly knicks when game was won, anyone catch him shooting as fast as he could.
Looks like he wants to deny the best-Lebron and try to steal another mvp from Lebron.
61 points & 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3 asts.
Believe the last time he scored 60 he had 0 asts & 1 rebound.

mockj12
02-03-2009, 01:48 PM
Kobe is a good player. I don't know if I'd say padding his stats last night is true though. It wasn't a blowout. They were only down 11 at half and 10 after three quarters. I think Kobe felt that the bynum injury was his fault and felt that he needed to do something. I'm sure he'll keep feeling this way and we'll see more games like this. But as for steeling MVP, I doubt it. If all he does is score, he's not going to get any recognition. LeBron does it all and that's why he will win this year. Simple as that.

JJ81
02-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Remember Lebron getting targeted & beat up in LA?
Someone tell me how Lebron got beat up & kobe protected, what is going on?
And tonight kobe just padded his stats against lowly knicks when game was won, anyone catch him shooting as fast as he could.
Looks like he wants to deny the best-Lebron and try to steal another mvp from Lebron.
61 points & 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3 asts.
Believe the last time he scored 60 he had 0 asts & 1 rebound.

Didn't you watch the game? He took tough shots in a close game.