Your Choice: Who is the NBA's MVP?
The Most Valuable Player debate continues to rage. Should the award go to the league's best player or to the player who means the most to his team? SI's Marty Burns has
given us his pick
; now it's your turn. We've made a case for each of the seven guys listed below, so evaluate the evidence and then submit your choice.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The Spurs power forward needs 39 points and 21 rebounds to become only the 14th player to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a single season. That kind of production, along with his quiet leadership, has the Spurs again vying for the Midwest title.
While some may argue that MJ didn't finish the season and his team didn't make the playoffs, there's no denying the impact he made on the Wizards when he was healthy. The mere fact that Washington was in the playoff hunt is testament to his value to the team.
NEW JERSEY NETS
It can't be just a coincidence that New Jersey earns its first Atlantic Division title and enjoys its first 50-win season in Kidd's first year with the Nets, can it? And leading the league with eight triple-doubles only helps the All-Star point guard's case.
One of only two players to average 25 points, five rebounds and five assists per game (Kobe is the other), McGrady has led a group of role players to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Despite having no one to keep defenses honest, McGrady continues to produce.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Unquestionably the most dominant player in the NBA, the Lakers center is unstoppable when he decides to take over a game. Causing headaches for opposing coaches and players along the way, Shaq has L.A. primed for a third straight championship run.
With the Sonics written off as a rebuilding project, Payton put his teammates on his back and carried them to the postseason. The veteran point guard wasn't supposed to finish the year with the team, but once again he's made Seattle Payton's place.
Detroit's Big Ben is leading the league in rebounds and blocks -- and he's 14th in steals. In leading the Pistons to their first division title since 1989-90, Wallace is the only player averaging fewer than 10 points who can still have a strong influence on the outcome of a game.
All photos AP, except Wallace (Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images).
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