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NBA / Jan 10, 2012 / 11:00 am

Why Chris Paul Will Win The NBA MVP

Chris Paul

Chris Paul (photo. Jordan Brand)

Thus far, the general consensus on NBA MVP candidates are the usual suspects: Kevin Durant, LeBron James and even Derrick Rose to repeat. ESPN and Sports Illustrated recently surveyed their panel of hoops experts to predict who will win the MVP. 23 out of 30 and six out of seven chose either KD or LeBron to win it, respectively. When the likelihood of a season was at its bleakest during the lockout — even here at Dime — the popular candidates of KD and Blake Griffin were given the nod for Fantasy MVP and SportsCenter MVP, respectively. However, don’t get it twisted, though. Sean Sweeney was on to something when he deemed the Los Angeles Clippers as “The People’s Champion”.

“They’d be the 2010 Thunder of this year… everyone would be ready to crown them already,” said Sweeney.

This prediction has proven to be an ominous one since it was practically a month prior to their franchise-altering trade. Likewise, the MVP award is given to the player that best represents the utmost value to their team through the confluence of their stats, team success, and talent-driven bravado and marketability. That said, ain’t nobody in the league right now seeing the one and only cat that epitomizes what an MVP is and carries the burden of an entire franchise: Chris Paul.

Still, what the hell do these ESPN and SI pundits know about who the $#&%in’ real MVP will be anyways? Durantula is a lock to win a third-straight scoring title, but he is on the most well-run squad from top-to-bottom outside of the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron is on the path to prove all the haters wrong once and for all this season, but everything he’ll do is a moot point until he gets to the fourth quarters of The Finals. D-Rose won the award last season, but he can’t one-up himself for an encore unless he can lead the League in dimes and guide the Bulls to the best overall record again. Conversely, CP3 got traded to the best possible destination to capture all of the Drake-like headlines and virtually single-handedly transform the laughingstock Clippers to LA’s Hollywood team.

First and foremost, it’ll serve one well to go back to the 2007-08 season just to see how nice CP actually is at his finest hour. Kobe Bryant robbed ‘em of the MVP. The sole reason why Black Mamba “won” the award was because the media realized they did an injustice of not granting him the MVP a couple seasons earlier when he had the epic 81-point game. The Los Angeles Lakers finished ahead of the New Orleans Hornets by just one game (57-25 to 56-26). CP’s stats were among the most impressive the game has ever seen. Not only was he tops in the league with 11.6 dimes and 2.7 steals, he did it while also being second among point guards in scoring with 21.1 points a game and an outrageous 28.3 PER. The most remarkable stat of all: his league-leading 17.8 win shares — his second best mark in his career — ranks only behind His Airness and The Big O amongst guards all-time, based on basketball-reference.com.

Now, fast-forward to last year’s New Orleans playoff run. CP was somehow able to take that squad filled with vagabonds like Carl Landry and Marco Belinelli (David West was out for the year) to battle the then-reigning champion Lakers to six games. In hindsight, his Game 1 onslaught of 33 points, 14 dimes, and four cookies as he shot 61 percent from the field was probably what ultimately convinced the Lakers to attempt to trade for him — even if it meant losing Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol in the process.

As long as the Clippers give ‘em full control of the offense, the entire league should be put on notice. Rohan, who has covered CP since his rookie year from SB Nation’s At the Hive, notes:

“The 2011 regular season Chris Paul was definitely an All-Star caliber player, but the 2011 playoffs Chris Paul? That’s a Hall of Famer,” he says. “On-the-ball Chris Paul is, when healthy, arguably the most impactful offensive player in the league.”

And even though the season is only two weeks-old, Clips Nation‘s own John Raffo has also witnessed enough to recognize how great CP has been and what kind of influence he is already bringing to the Clippers:

“His record speaks for itself: he repeatedly took a lesser team further than anyone would have thought possible. He turned the Hornets into winners when he arrived in 2006…forcing an under-talented and under-achieving team to become more than the sum of its parts.”

His leadership is so genuine that, “Clipper fans haven’t seen anything like this since Sam Cassell was with the team,” says Raffo.

Most importantly, though, is the overall cultural change CP is imparting, making him leaps and bounds ahead of the so-called MVP competition. Amongst Angelinos, the Clippers have always been casted the lesser brother playing under the shadows of the big brother Lakers. While Griffin deserves credit for brushing off any notion that the “Clippers Curse” still exists, it hasn’t been until now that all of Los Angeles can look up at Hotel Figueroa and see the change in basketball hierarchy in town. How many other cats in the league have the balls to go on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno and call him out for routinely dissing your team for decades? It is because of instances like this that CP has been embraced by Clipper Nation and even Lakers fans like another former New Orleans resident and now Los Angeles transplant, Frank Ocean.

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  • NasirnastyJones

    Interesting take but….
    eeeeehm no. Chris Paul won’t win MVP, let that be clear.

    D-Rose did it last year, as the point god that led his team to a great record, but he did it alone.
    CP got Blake, so he’s not gonna get the same credit.

    It’s possible he might deserve MVP after this season, but he’ll never win it this year.

  • Simon

    While basketball is closely associated with urban and hip hop culture, remember you are a journalist. Drop the street language and remember ain’t ain’t a word! I usually try to keep it to basketball here but come on man.

    “As long as the Clippers give ‘em full control of the offense”

    Why not use “him” in place of “‘em”? It’s the same amount of characters. Isn’t “‘em” usually used in place of “them” anyways?

    Sorry to be a hater, I guess it’s the teacher in me.

  • catdaddywhack

    ?? Why what now???

  • beiber newz

    haha! the crybabies on dime aint gonna like this! predicting an mvp? uh-oh!!!!!!

  • TJ 2

    i can see him having the same effect that Kidd had on the Nets when he first got there, they went from lottery to the championship in one year, while i dont see them going that far so fast, i can see a big turnaround. Kidd did NOT get the MVP that year so unless the other media appointed folks fall off a little i dont think he will get it. BUT Nash got it two years in a row so theres a possibility.

  • tron

    not sure i could believe the clippers to be contenders, however they could make a solid case for it tonight. but i wouldn’t count on it. blazers dont lose at the rose garden

  • north

    If MVP really stood for Most Valuable Player like it should Chris Paul might have a chance. If it really did go to the real MVP of the season it would have been Howard’s last year and Wade’s those years the Heat were 4th in the East despite him being the only player on the team who knew where the basket is.
    They should rename the award MHP for Media Hyped Player.

  • DaGood

    Basically, the term most valuable player is BS and too much open to different interpretations.

    In the end, rather than debating value relative to someones team, people just want to know who the “player of the year” is. So why not just call it that, like they do in college?

  • jlfor3

    Have you forgot about that guy named Lebron James? 30 ppg, 7+ rbs, 7+ assists on the best team? Even with that D Wade guy out hurt.

    I’m not a Lebron fan, but I need to give props where props are due.

  • First & Foremost

    Why do people keep saying Rose did it alone. That team was built around defense. Deng had an All-Star like year but doesn’t have the marketability of Lebron or Pierce Stateside so he goes unnoticed. Boozer and Noah both missed time but Asik, Thomas, and Gibson all stepped up and played over their heads when they needed to. Rose did not do it alone. Lebron did it alone.

    Rose carried the offense for his team and was the media darling but come on, aside from Boozer that was a solid defensive team that simply crushed people in the 4th.

  • First & Foremost

    @Dime, You guys should do an article on the definitive definition of the MVP Award.

    Should it go to the best player on the best team?
    Should it go to the best solo superstar that has a respectable record once you account for who he has to deal with?
    Should it go to the biggest superstar on a team of superstars?
    Should it go to the best player in the most hapless situation?
    Should it go to the player with the best composite PER & Win shares?
    Should the NBA adopt a BCS polling system to decide the winner?
    Should the NBA have a coaches poll? Voting each of the last 6 weeks of the regular season.
    Should the nBA have a players poll? Voting each of the last 6 weeks of the regular season.
    Should it go to the player with the most weekly and monthly awards?
    Should the most valuable player be a 2 way player?
    Should it be decided by a leaguepass subscribers poll?
    Should it be determined by fantasy stats?
    Should Congress decide the NBA MVP?
    Should owners decide the MVP?

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Haven’t read the article yet but unless it says something about Lebron getting injured keep dreaming.

  • Celts Fan

    @BigShotBob – Bron’s not een the best player on his own team. Of the games I’ve watched, it’s been Wade closing in the 4th, Wade making the great defensive plays (how many blocks at the rim already? damn)

    @Freddy – you’re an idiot. Kobe didn’t deserve shit the year he dropped 81, unless you think it’s valuable to alienate your teammates to the point they’d love to see you traded, your team is dogshit, and, ohbytheway, you become a national embarrassment for an incident in Colorado. that’s NOT an MVP, maybe MOP, but outstanding and valuable are hugely different. Meanwhile, Steve Nash was making Boris fuckin Diaw a 18-9 player and winning games w/ a team that had no business winning games (remember STAT was out that whole year.) That’s valuable, not just being some dick ballhog taking every shot on a deadend team.
    Oh, and while I don’t really think he didn’t deserve it in ’08, by your (and any rational) logic, KG got screwed pretty hard for coming in, COMPLETELY changing the culture, and helping this team to one of the best records and a chip. Just saying, by the same logic as CP3 this year or that one (which, KG did teh same thing, but to a more successful extent, so ya, what are you even talking about???) KG shoulda won in ’08 and Grabby Hands in LA shouldn’t have one yet. That’d be a travesty considering how good he’s been, but true nonetheless by any logic put forth in this article…

  • Celts Fan

    @First and Foremost – it goes to the most VALUABLE (you have google and a dictionary, look it up, not hard.) Yes, some other things must be taken into account (Kobe’s dickery/ballhogging in ’05) but it’s usually pretty clear. How much of a difference would not having _______ make to ______? Now assume the team we’re talking about is, at worst, an above average playoff team and there ya go. Christ I’m sick of this being asked over and over. You know what the fuck valuable means.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    @ Celts – co-sign the Nash thing.

    “I can tell you one thing: nobody is gunna work harder than us. And I can guarantee you that…I’m all about competition,” said Paul when asked about how do you win.

    Funny, I could’ve sworn that competition, to you, was seeing that there were other better teams and jumping ship. JOINING the competition. The other guys DID outwork you, and so you left the guys you were supposed to be leading.

  • Celts Fan

    @tj2 agree w u in theory on kidd in nj, but those years he lost out tp shaq and td at their apexes. Unfortunate timing, but that happens…

  • Big Island

    Beib – I got this for you.

    Melo.

  • Blazermark

    Another over rated NBA front office sweetheart. Gets lots of love on ESPN and other media outlets. Last night’s game said it all. Go Blazers!!!

  • lester

    I am not a LeBron fan, and i liked the way the Heat lost the finals.

    But you cant deny his superb season thus far. He is averaging 30/8/8 a game on 60% FG! As a small Forward thats just terrific. Throw on his PER of 36.00 or sth. Of course it will go down as long as the season goes on but the MVP Award is clearly his to lose.
    Rose wont win it again. Kobe is in ego mode again, and KD hasnt contributed much else than scoring. Dwight isnt motivated.

    And Paul? Clips are 4-3 and Paul averages 14/2/8. Besides they are a horrible team on defense. If he doesnt make a big leap theres no way he will have a chance to become MVP.

  • http://Dimemag.com Panchitoooo

    Where that one fool that said cp3 is only good cause he plays dirty? Dummy

  • beiber newz

    @17 thas wassup