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April 26, 2006

Heading to See the TWO TIME NBA MVP--Steve Nash

It is Unofficially Official that Steve Nash will repeat as NBA MVP.

Suns star Steve Nash will be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for a second straight season, according to a league source familiar with the voting.

The announcement may not come for two weeks, like last season's May 8 ceremony. The votes have been tabulated in what was expected to be a close race with LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Chauncey Billups and Kobe Bryant.

US Airways Center will be rocking tonight as the Suns seek to take a 2-0 lead over the Lakers in the Best of Seven first round series.

Wil and I were having a fairly spirited debate over what is wrong with baseball at his new blog baseballtopia.com two weeks ago. While we agree that baseball is not the same game it was, not all of the changes have been bad. I love Interleague play for instance. Certainly the nature of sports is changing. Less team play. More money. Agents often times hold more sway than coaches. Endorsement money pays far more than what a player makes for going out onto the field, course, or court each day. And individual accomplishments such as Home Runs or Dunks trump team accomplishments--like say involving teammates or winning.

Tonight's game and this entire series between Phoenix and the Lakers is a test of a team sport and team game versus a "me" player and a "me" game. Kobe did his best to get Odom and his other teammates involved in game one. And the Lakers still lost. So now, expect Kobe jacking up 40+ shots this game.

This is about AI's rant "practice-we're talking about practice, not a game" and the Kobe's of the world that score 50 in a loss. This is about Ron Artest who got suspended to the detriment of the Kings last night or for the entire last season over the brawl.

Until last year, I was an NBA HATER (in caps) because the Suns had a roster consisting of another "me" player, Marbury. There was no chemistry. Guys were looking to get their 20 touches per game. And the entire team was competing with itself to get shots and touches as well as to pad their own stats and get a larger endorsement contract from a shoe company. Steve Nash is so fun to watch. This team makes an extra pass to an open shooter. They dish and make layups. They make their free throws.

My argument is simply that a lot of the blame for the landscape of pro sports today is that players no longer practice free throws or passing or bunting or defense. There is no more sliding hard into second to break up a double play because the short stop has the same agent as you or you play golf together in the off season. These wonderful games of finesse and pitching and defense and teamwork have become thugfests of hard fouls and brutality under the basket. Of power hitters who don't play defense and guys that cannot make a free throw in clutch time but can do windmill dunks.

And that is why I love the Suns. It is crisp passing. It is team work. It is chemistry. And it is a bunch of guys who are undersized outhussling and out working their opponents. Their slogan for last year was "Working Hard--Playing Harder". Who admires hard work these days?

Well apparently someone is noticing. Mike D'Antoni finished second in Coach of the Year balloting and Nash won another MVP. The award should be renamed to MVT--as in most valuable teammate as that is what Nash is. A team guy in a me sport.

Posted by Justin at April 26, 2006 12:42 PM

Comments

Good blog. I like getting the independent info on Brian Head. Nash deserves the MVP.

Lakers in 7

Posted by: Greg Scherer at April 26, 2006 07:13 PM