Kobe Wins MVP, Proves He's Indeed a Human

I've wanted Chris Paul to get this MVP since mid-season. Kobe's candidacy always seemed to me like he was being rewarded (or patronized) for becoming a better citizen, more decent teammate, and harder-to-hate icon. I mean, he's been the consensus "best player in basketball" for at least the last three seasons. And he dragged straight bad teams into the playoffs. He could've gotten one before now. ↵
↵
↵It's almost as if, with a player this spectacular, the standards are set even higher. He doesn't just have to have the best season, he has to outdo himself. That's what I think accounts for LeBron's low finish. Bron will get his, but he's fighting against both the rest of the league and his own myth. ↵
↵
↵Anyway, if this was the year Kobe really matured on the court, this press conference shows how much 2007-08 transformed Kobe as a person: ↵
↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
↵
↵There's no bad acting. No mugging. No over-seriousness. Not posturing. No aloofness. And amazingly, the game's cockiest, more assured player comes off as sincere and a little vulnerable. He says at one point that he'd resigned himself to never getting the award; in that same way, I think a lot of fans had assumed he'd be forever inhuman. ↵
↵
↵Yesterday, all that changed. And that, as much as any MVP trophy, is going to have a lasting effect on Kobe's legacy.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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