AOL News has a new home! The Huffington Post.

Click here to visit the new home of AOL News!

Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Kobe Bryant Named Finals MVP

Jun 15, 2009 – 12:02 AM
Text Size
Brett Pollakoff

Brett Pollakoff %BloggerTitle%

Kobe BryantKobe Bryant was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, and being the best player on the team that just won the championship, it's tough to disagree. It was Kobe's first time winning the award, because it went to Shaquille O'Neal the first three times that the Lakers won the title with Bryant on the roster.

Bryant averaged better than 32 points, five rebounds, and seven assists for the series, so again, his numbers validate the fact that he's taking home the award. But this was truly a team effort, and there are others that are arguably just as deserving.

Pau Gasol is a strong candidate, especially if you consider his contributions on both ends of the floor. He averaged over 18 points and nine rebounds in the series, shot better than 57 percent from the field, and largely kept Dwight Howard in check on defense.

Derek Fisher's series-long numbers weren't that fantastic, but without his two huge three-pointers in Game 4, the Lakers wouldn't be standing on the championship podium -- at least not after Game 5.

But while Kobe shot under 46 percent from the field for the series, and averaged 27 shot attempts per game, he's the unquestionable leader of this team. Without his work ethic, drive, and desire, the rest of the team wouldn't have stepped up to the championship level that they were able to in these playoffs.

By most standards, the definition of the MVP is not only the best player on the team, but someone who makes his teammates around him better. When you look back at what Bryant was able to do with this Lakers team throughout the post-season, there's simply no argument to be made: choosing Kobe Bryant as the Finals MVP was a no-brainer.
Filed under: Sports