Steve Nash is one of the most disrespected players of all-time.
He is remembered for his two MVP’s, which many argue he should not have won. While Steve Nash doesn’t have eye-popping numbers, he still was incredibly valuable to his team as he turned a 29 win team into 62 wins in one year.
Let’s evaluate if this theory is true or false.
In 2005, Nash won his first MVP in a close race with Shaquille O’Neal. Many believe that Shaq should have won it, but Nash did have a better season. He turned the Suns around and made them into contenders.
While Shaq’s numbers do look a bit more impressive, he’s virtually on par with Nash when looking at advanced stats; besides defense because D’Antoni’s teams do not play defense.
But Nash over doubled the Suns’ wins while Shaq turned a playoff team into a contender.
Now about the 2006 MVP. Many would argue that Kobe Bryant should be the MVP over Nash, and while Kobe had an absolutely monster season and dragged his team into the playoffs, the Lakers won fewer games than the Suns and they were the 7th seed.
Kobe’s numbers at first make him look as if he should clearly win it and the advanced stats back that up. Except Kobe, is not the true MVP.
At age 21, LeBron James has a serious case for MVP.
He finished 2nd in voting in 2006 and the Cavaliers finished with a better record than the Lakers with a roster was as bad as the Lakers’. LeBron’s advanced stats are better than Kobe’s as he led the NBA in BPM and VORP and is slightly better in True Shooting, PER and Win Shares.
LeBron was the runner-up.
Furthermore, there was a player who was as effective as LeBron and Kobe and finished with more wins than Nash.
Dirk Nowitzki was on par with LeBron and was a better shooter and almost had a 50-40-90 season. Along with winning 60 games, Dirk has the highest offensive rating of the four and had a worse team than Nash, though a better one than Kobe and LeBron, though not substantially. Dirk’s 2006 season is one that is very underrated and should be looked at closer.
Photo: USA Today