NBA’s Most Valuable, Dominant Player? Shaq

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Most Valuable Player, Most Dominant Player, Player of the Year.

When discussing these areas in the NBA it’s very possible to come up with three different players. Hell, it’s possible to come up with about eight or nine different players. The usual suspects are Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, K.G, Tim Duncan and reigning two-time league MVP Steve Nash. You could also add to that list Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, T-Mac and Dwayne Wade. The good thing about this debate is that it bodes well for David Stern and the NBA that the league has so many superstars to carry the torch, which used to be carried by only one man, “His Airness”, Michael Jordan.

So how do you determine who the best is year in and year out? Is it fair to leave out the postseason games when making this determination? Legends are made in the playoffs when the games mean more, right? If you did count the postseason, LeBron’s 30 ppg, 7 rpg and 6 apg would stand out and raise his stock value. Dirk Nowitzki dropping 50 points on the Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals would go a long way in garnering him some votes. How about D-Wade’s run in the playoffs, getting Miami to its first ever NBA Finals? However, if you allowed the postseason to be considered in the voting then you’d be slighting those players who had great regular seasons but their teams did not qualify for the playoffs. As a result, they wouldnít get to showcase their talents in front of millions of fans and the voters themselves in a playoff stage.

So what to do in determining who indeed is the best, most valuable, most dominant? Sitting down at the bar, my buddy and I were arguing about this topic and think we have come up with the answer. A few Labatt Blue cold ones (a shameless plug for a great beer I’m now endorsing on the radio) and a few shots later we were stumped. Besides determining the player who would fit this category, we were also trying to figure out who was going to win the NBA Championship. Is it going to be Shaq Daddy, D-Wade, Pat Riley and the Heat? Or can Dirk Nowitzki, Avery Johnson and Cavalier reject, turned defensive stud, DeSagana Diop finish it off for the NBAís best owner, Mark Cuban?

Well here’s what we came up with and when you look at it, you’ll be shaking your head saying it really was that simple. We actually answered both of our questions. Who’s the most valuable, dominant and best player in the game and who’s going to win the title? The answer is…Shaq and the Miami Heat. That’s right, “The Deisel” and the team formerly coached by porn star Ron Jeremy look-a-like, Stan Van Gundy.

It came down to this theory. Letís say you and your best friend were on the playground getting ready for a pick up game of 5-on-5. You two had to pick sides and you got the first pick. That means youíre going to pick four players to play with you and your buddy does the same for his team. Your choices are Shaq, Tim Duncan, Kobe, LeBron, Dirk, D-Wade, K.G and Steve Nash. Who would your first pick be? Well, Kobe and LeBron cancel each other out. D-Wade and Nash do the same at point guard. Dirk and K.G. are both 7-foot power forwards. So that leaves Tim Duncan and Shaq. And as good as Duncan is, and he’s very good, there isn’t a more powerful, dominant player than Shaquille O’Neal. All he did in eliminating the favorite Detroit Pistons 95-78 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals was go 12 of 14 from the field for 28 points and grab 16 rebounds to pick up the slack or an ailing Dwayne Wade.

Letís not forget when it was revealed here in Cleveland at the 1997 All Star Game that Shaq was voted as one of the 50 greatest players ever. He is gunning for his fourth ring and is leading his third different team to the NBA Finals. Can anyone else on our list to pick from put that on their resume? No! Regardless whether Iím picking a team for a pick up game or the NBA Finals, I want the player who is going to make the biggest difference and the player who nobody can stop, and right now that player is SHAQ. In a year or two that may change, but over the next 10 days to two weeks I want “The Deisel” on my team!

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