Mailbag: Week 18
By Maurice Brooks
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SECAUCUS, N.J., March 9, 2007 -- Rick in Toronto: I have to commend you on your rankings this week Mo. Everything seems to be in order. The toughest spot in my mind is who's in the lead, Nash or Dirk? I think you should go rock, paper, scissors to see who wins MVP. What do you think?

Brooks: OK, let me try that method. Nash chose rock, Dirk went with paper. Paper covers rock.

Abizzle in Nevada: Why can't we all get along? Give the MVP to KB24 and then make CB4 and CP3 marry R2D2 and C3PO. Who needs names, everyone should just be an acronym.

Brooks: Hey buddy, do me a favor and go have another, ASAP.

Cody in Iowa: Hey I love reading Race to the MVP. One question though, how come Allen Iverson is not in the top five? He has the Nuggets playing amazing basketball since he's been traded to Denver. He may not be as good as Steve Nash or Dirk Nowitzki but he should be ranked.

Brooks: Are you watching a different Nuggets team than the one I see take the floor each night? The Nuggets are just 4-6 in their last 10 games, they are a game below .500 and will be in a fight the rest of the way to make the playoffs. Iverson's numbers have been solid but this isn't exactly the results that were hoped for when AI and Melo were paired together. Between starting the year in Philly, sitting out while waiting to be traded and Denver not setting world on fire, Iverson hasn't done enough to be considered an MVP candidate.

Ethan in Dallas: Fan is short for fanatics. If you look it up in the dictionary, fanatics are people marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause. Keep up the good work. I really enjoyed reading your Week 17 Mailbag. It was a little harsh, but the truth.

Brooks: Thanks for the English lesson Ethan. My intention wasn't to come across as harsh, I simply wanted to poke a little good-natured fun at the readers.

Eric in Arizona: Mo, I have to say, I LOVED the article about naming Marion MVP. It had me cracking up when I read it imagining all the "I love him, make him MVP" fans gaping at your words. For those of us that recognize sarcasm and the fact that there are only two candidates left, keep on writing about other players. I also enjoyed being informed about vastly-improved players like Amare.

Brooks: Yeah man. Not everyone understood the sarcasm so I received more than my share of e-mails questioning my choice of Marion as MVP.

Ronnie in Greece: I would like to say that no NBA team with a power forward as their leader or star or whatever you wanna call it has yet to win a championship. Check it out: Barkley and the Suns, Malone and the Jazz, Garnett and T-Wolves, Kemp and the Sonics, Webber and the Kings. Do you see the pattern? Three of these players have been MVPs, yet they have no rings.

Brooks: Hmmm, I guess that is kind of interesting. I'll let Dirk know you think he has no chance at winning a title this year. By the way, ever heard of a fella named Tim Duncan? Last I checked, he was a power forward, won a MVP or two and has a few rings.

Josh in New York City: What's the deal with Carmelo Anthony's ranking? He is the leading scorer in the league. He hasn't been getting the respect he deserves. I can't believe he wasn't voted into the All-Star game and had to make it as an injury replacement. Look at his accomplishments. Never before in league history has the top scorer in the NBA not been in the top 5 or 10 in the MVP race.

Brooks: Despite his suspension and the fact that his own coach has hinted at having him come off the bench, Melo is still ranked 12th in the R2MVP and working his way up. If it wasn't for that one big mistake he made at Madison Square Garden, this would have been the season where Melo received all of the accolades he deserved.

Mike in Canada: By putting Vince Carter the cry baby who can't do anything but complain and cry like the big baby he is on the Race to the MVP player rankings, you are disgracing and insulting the entire NBA. Despite the fact that he puts up stats, his personality is what makes him a cry baby.

Brooks: Geez Mike, I guess after all these years some people in Toronto still hold a grudge against Vince. Do me a solid and let it go man.

Jonathan in Montreal: Hey Mo, Chris Webber's play in Detroit should make him a candidate.

Brooks: A candidate for what? Yeah C-Webb has the Pistons clicking on all cylinders but don't act like Detroit wasn't one of the elite teams in the East before he showed up. Yes, he's made them better but as far as being an MVP candidate, those days are long gone for Webber.

Jason in Dallas: Hello, I loved your article about Marion. That was very funny. I think the NBA needs to get rid of the MVP and make it into two new awards. One for the most talented or amazing player and another one for the player that is the most important player to a team's success.

Brooks: Jason, that is not a bad idea at all. I actually like it. That way, Kobe or LeBron could get the most talented award while Dirk would win the most important player award this season.

Kamby in Canada: Hey dude, I want to ask you who you think is the most improved player and who will win Rookie of the Year? Also, one last thing. Can you tell me the day that you get everything updated? I don't want to miss a week of the Race to the MVP. Thanks.

Brooks: The more I watch Sacramento's Kevin Martin, the more I think he is the most improved player this season. Did you see him Thursday against the Spurs? He put up 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. ROY is going to Portland's Brandon Roy. That is a done deal. And by the way, Race to the MVP comes out on Tuesdays and the Mailbag comes out on Fridays.

Josh in Australia: Not that I expect you to put him in your top 20, but I have recently noticed that Tyson Chandler has been putting up the numbers that he should have been putting up a long time ago. How good is this guy going to be? How many years do you think it will be, if ever, until he is in contention for MVP?

Brooks: If you would have mentioned Tyson Chandler and MVP in the same sentence at the beginning of the season I would have thought you were practicing your comedy routine. He has reached double figures in rebounds in 20 games and has 13 straight double-doubles. He should be scoring more than nine points a game but he is pulling down an eye-popping 12.6 rebounds an outing. The Hornets have an outside chance at getting the eighth seed in the West.

Big O in Brooklyn: I would like to ask Nate Robinson what muscles did he work on to jump so high. I'm 5-8 and jump high but I want to jump higher.

Brooks: Yo Big O, not sure what this has to do with the MVP but since I know Nate will be reading this (doesn't everybody?), I'll let you know if he gives me some tips for you.

Roger in Spain: Where is Pau Gasol in the rankings? Look at his numbers, he's having a great season.

Brooks: Between missing the first quarter of the season because of injury and the Grizzlies having the worst record in the league, Gasol will have a hard time climbing into the race.

Will in New York: I know this is way out there, but if Philly makes the playoffs, shouldn't Andre Iguodala be in the top 20?

Brooks: Who knew Iggy could ball like this? Dude is close to cracking the top 20 right now. If he would have played like this when the other AI was in town, Philly would be sitting at the top of the division. Oh well.

Nicolas in Chile: Hey, I just had a comment about Tim Duncan's position in the race. I'm currently in San Marcos, Tex. so I have a chance to watch the Spurs. Even though his stats from the last couple of weeks might not make a good argument for Timmy, he is a monster. I mean even though he is a big man, it's as if he were the point guard. Everything runs through him. By the way, great column!

Brooks: Timmy must be doing something right, the Spurs have won 11 in a row. He is still doing what he always does -- 34 double-doubles and season averages of 20.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.

Ryan in Colorado: I will simply say this: place Nash on ANY team in this league and you've got yourself a playoff-bound squad. Can the same be said of Dirk? Nobody can improve a basketball team like Nash, so who is more valuable? I received an envelope stuffed with cash from someone named "Mark Cuban", asking me to vote Dirk for MVP. Sorry Mr. Cuban, I have too much respect for the game.

Brooks: People, Ryan is only joking about receiving the cash from Cuban. (You are joking, right Ryan?). I can't really argue about how Nash would improve any team but I think the same thing can be said about Nowitzki.

Demit in Philippines: Hey, I'm a great fan of the NBA. Can you help me watch a game live (not on TV, but in an arena)? I have money and I'm willing to spend. My phone number is 092688XXXXX. If you help me, I'm going to sponsor your trip here to our family-owned beach resort in Boraca. Thanks a lot!

Brooks: Demit, if you have money, hop on a plane and fly to the United States and catch a game. There are 30 teams in the NBA, pick one.

Brian in Alaska: Hey Maurice, I think it is time you show some love to Shaq. He has to be closing in on the top 10 in the Race to the MVP.

Brooks: I'm not going to lie, I wrote Shaq and the Heat off when D-Wade went down with the shoulder injury. He is proving me and everyone else wrong and showing why he is still the most dominant big man in the game.

JoJo in Detroit: You are by far the best writer in the business right now! Keep it up.

Brooks: JoJo, you are one smart dude.

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