Monday, May 09, 2005

Reality check:

Casual Canadian Sports Fan: simmer down about Steve Nash being voted NBA MVP.

He performed extremely well this year, and has helped his team become very, very good. But geez--he's not even the best player on his team!

I'm all for recognizing the intangibles too. But I've never heard of an MVP in any league where you could name twenty other players whose GMs would not, under any circumstances, trade them for the MVP.

Of course, far be it from me to pass judgement on the hundred-odd fatties who watch basketball for a living and vote on the award. What I will object to is the ridiculous discussion I heard twice on the radio today: "Where does this accomplishment rank in Canadian sports moments?"

Being voted an award is not an "accomplishment" in and of itself, and yet I heard several people argue today that, essentially, what he did to earn it is not important. A sidekick on The FAN960 brought up the argument that, without demeaning Nash, his teammates are terrific, so how much individual credit is he owed? Good old Joe Sports actually attempted to say roughly the following: "Well hell, Gretzky was great, but just how great would he have been without Kurri, and Messier, and those dominant teams in the 80s?"

What an easy question to answer: he would have been singularly great. He would have made any team he was on infinitely better. You would have gladly traded any other player in the league for him one-for-one.

That's the big, large, huge, wide difference between Steve Nash and someone like Wayne Gretzky. And when the NHL played hockey, I was a Flames fan.


At 9:11 a.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

I'm not so sure, Matt.

Nash does a pile of things that don't show up on the stat board. Trade him straight up for Kobe prior to this season, and I think Lamar Odom is an all-star again and makes the playoffs. Phoenix falls apart.

But aside from that argument, I think there's a good case to be made that Nash is more valuable to Phoenix than any other player is to any other team this year. The only real argument is Shaq, and I'm glad the vote was close. Even though I was pulling for Nash, I wouldn't have been upset had Shaq won.

By the way, way to tell the Casual Sports Fan to pipe down. The little people really shouldn't have any opinions if they're not willing to watch 24/7. Of course, journalists could say the same thing to Serious Fans, and players and coaches could say the same thing to journalists. But at least you're beating the one monkey smaller than you, and good on you for doing that much!


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