Is Kobe This Year’s Russell Or Wilt?

» April 19, 2008 9:20 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

The Most Valuable Player is presented to the NBA player who receives the highest point total from a panel of chosen sportswriters. These sportswriters cast a vote for their first, second, and third place selections. First place votes receive five points, second place is worth three points, and third place is worth one point. The player who receives the highest point total is then awarded the distinction of Most Valuable Player.

The MVP has historically gone to the best player on one of the teams with the top record in the NBA. No player whose team has won less than 50 games has won the award in the past 25 years.

The Most Valuable Player Award is one of the greatest honors in basketball. It should be regarded with distinction. It shouldn’t be a popularity contest controlled by PR much like the ridiculousness that has become the NBA All-Star Game.

The distinction of MVP should not blindly award the best player on the best team. The voting panel needs to do their job or a new committee or criteria should be developed in order to guarantee that the NBA player who is of the most value to his team receives the credit that he rightly deserves.

Team success should not be the barometer by which an individual player is considered to be of most value to his team. Rather than award the title of Most Valuable Player to the best player on the top team, it should go to the NBA player who is of most value to his particular team, with less significance placed upon that team’s win-loss record. Basketball is a team sport. No one player can win consistently without the luxury of a quality-supporting cast.

The value of a great player encompasses a myriad of basketball intangibles that sadly, are not always guarantors of victories.

Nowhere is this more evident than the Most Valuable Player Award tallies of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Bill Russell won the MVP award in 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1965. The Celtics won the NBA championship in every one of those seasons but 1958.

Wilt Chamberlain didn’t enter the NBA until the year after Russell won his first MVP. Chamberlain was MVP in 1960, his rookie season, and again in 1966, 1967, 1968. Wilt was 1st team All-NBA every season he was MVP. [Read]

Is Kobe This Year’s Russell Or Wilt? was published at Foxsports and re-posted at

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