HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Super Tuesday produced the primary season results everyone was expecting and every candidate claiming victory, in one form or another.
But there were a few surprises as well, none more shocking than Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown lobbying for his star Kobe Bryant to be included in the MVP conversation when he’s been there all season, at least in the KIA Race to the MVP Ladder here at the hideout.
Brown apparently took umbrage with the talking heads omitting Bryant from their conversation over the weekend, telling the Los Angeles Daily News (among other outlets):
“I think it’s hilarious that he’s not. … Everybody is talking about how he’s 85 years old or whatever they’re saying, and he’s leading the league in scoring.
“He’s efficient. He’s got his team in a good position. I truly believe this team, especially with a guy like that, can be dangerous come playoff time. There’s no doubt in my mind that Kobe Bryant should be mentioned in the MVP talk.
You’re baffled, coach?
How do you think we feel around here? Bryant’s been in our top five all season — he was No. 4 last week. You clearly haven’t been keeping up with our MVP conversation, because you wouldn’t have gone off on this rant if you had.
We understand that you’ve been busy adjusting to Los Angeles, the Lakers and everything that comes with replacing a living legend like Phil Jackson. But roasting the media for not including Bryant in the MVP talks when he’s been there all along is an almost unforgivable crime against the basketball public.
We’ve known the coach for years, dating back to his days as the video coordinator in Denver in the 1990s. So he gets a pass for not checking out the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder before now. No more excuses.
That said, if you were trying this case in the court of basketball’s public opinion, the hard sell on Bryant really wouldn’t be necessary. He is indeed having a fantastic, MVP-caliber season. Anyone that argues against that is just plain hatin’ on the man.
Bryant’s wicked, masked-man performance in the Lakers’ three-game home stand after he was concussed and had his nose broken in the All-Star Game — 34 points on 54.3 percent shooting in three straight wins — serves as perhaps the finest example of his undeniable will and refusal to succumb the bumps and bruises that would ground so many others.
Bryant continues to lead the league in scoring and has the Lakers in great shape as the trade deadline nears. Even with other, younger stars having spectacular season, as Brown pointed out …
“My TV was on ESPN when I was heading out (to go to the game) and I heard somebody say Kevin Love because he has his team at .500,” Brown said. “Now Kevin Love is a very good basketball player and he’s putting up extraordinary numbers.
“But if you’re going to say Kevin Love is in the top five (MVP candidates), then Kobe Bryant needs to be in the top two.”
We’ll see where Kobe fits this week on our list. We’re not making any promises about the top two or anything. But your rant has been duly noted Coach!