Doubting Kevin Garnett
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Jan. 10, 2008 -- For about seven hours, I was feeling pretty good about having Kevin Garnett in the No. 1 spot for this week's Race to the MVP. Then the Celtics went out and lost to the Bobcats and just like that, I started second-guessing myself.

Maybe the fans are right. This is one of the worst statistical seasons of Garnett's career. Maybe Paul Pierce deserves more credit for Boston's success than he has been getting. Maybe the intangibles that KG brings to the table are overrated.

I don't agree with any of that, but when David beats Goliath, a little doubt starts to creep in.

Time to respond to some of your e-mails.



Steve in Texas: Hello, Maurice, do you still work for the NBA? I've missed the Race to the MVP and your sarcastic remarks in the mailbag for the past few weeks. What's going on?

Berk in Austria: Man, write something ... Are you on holiday? There is nothing else good to read on NBA.com.

Mike in Philippines: Sir, we've been waiting for the R2MVP updates. I'm just wondering what is the cause of the delay? Are you OK?

Engin in Turkey: Hey Maurice, are you still alive? Is this some kind of attention-getting strategy? Anyways, I haven't seen my parents for a month and a half, but I missed you and your sharp wording more than them!

Brooks: Between the passing of my father, vacation and the holidays, yours truly wasn't on his regular rotation as far as R2MVP. Don't worry, the rankings will come out every Tuesday and the mail every Thursday for the rest of the season.



Jim in Philly: Mo, you say that Allen Iverson is your favorite player, but you certainly don't treat him that way. How can you drop him after he was named the Western Conference Player of the Week and the Nuggets went 3-0? What's up with that?

Brooks: I guess I do expect a little more out of those I love. For proof, ask my immediate family. With that being said, although Iverson is playing unbelievable ball right now, I only slid him down one spot. The person he moved behind was LeBron James, who was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, led his team to a four-game winning streak and overall has had a better season. And, not that it was his fault, but Iverson's Nuggets were coming off a 22-point loss to the Suns. For some reason Jimmy, you and everyone else who e-mailed me about Iverson kept overlooking that game.



Dre in Philippines: Hey Mo! Why isn't Yao Ming in the top 20?

Brooks: A few weeks ago, I dropped Yao because the Rockets were performing poorly. Maybe that motivated him? OK, probably not, but Houston is playing much better, winners of six of its past eight with Tracy McGrady out of the lineup. Yao had arguably his best game of the season on Wednesday, scoring 36 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a win against the Knicks. I'll see what I can do about finding a place for him in the rankings next week.



Red in Florida Hey, thanks for writing your column!! It's probably my least and most favorite column. Least favorite, because my favorite players are never in the top spot, and most favorite, because it's fairly objective (even though you are a dirty capitalist who overvalues winning). First off I have a suggestion; why not expand the list to 15 or 20 players? I know you have a 11-20, but the best thing about the column is the text in the little box. Keep up the good job and keep being funny and honest.

Brooks: I feel the top 10 is special so that is why they get the blurb and the bottom 10 gets just the stats. Besides, my editor complains already about me getting him R2MVP too late in the afternoon as it is.



Shoaib in New York: Hey Boo Boo, I expect to see Kobe Bryant No. 1 in your next update. If he's not, I'm going to get the Ranger on you.

Brooks:That is one cartoon I was never a fan of. There is a strong possibility that KB24 could occupy the alpha male spot next week.



Ben in Germany: Your top 10 is good, but the 10 players after that were probably chosen by pointing your finger on the paper and writing the name down that you land on.

Brooks: That is not true at all ... I throw darts.



Matt in New York: Hello Maurice, I know you actually read your e-mails so I was wondering if you can help me out. In the "I Love This Game" commercials, what is the song that is playing? Here is the link. I have been looking for the name of it forever and I would greatly appreciate your help.

Brooks: I asked around and I searched the Web and couldn't find out. If anyone knows, send me an e-mail so I can pass it on to Matt.



Lulu in Texas: Your article was interesting and thought provoking. Keep up the great writing! I have come to the conclusion that even a middle-aged woman can learn from sports icons. Steve Nash has taught me that hard work, determination and GUTS can overcome genetics, growing up on the wrong side of the tracks (Canada, eh?) and bad hair years. He has also taught me to smile, share and encourage others. Somehow those lessons were taught but watching him has made a bigger impression than all the nagging I received as a child.

Brooks: Wow, you are getting a lot more out of watching the Phoenix Suns games than I am.



Dylan in South Carolina: I have been reading R2MVP for three years now and it seems no matter what happens, Kobe has been third every week. It seems like a permanent spot.

Brooks: First of all, Kobe is No. 2 and second of all, I've only been writing R2MVP for two seasons.



Jim in Los Angeles: Have you been paying attention to what Andrew Bynum has been doing? He belongs somewhere on your list.

Brooks: I write the MVP rankings, not the most improved player rankings.



Ryan in Australia: You leave your Air Jordans next to the washer and dryer! C'mon man, have a little bit more respect for them than that. They should be in your living room so that they can be admired like pieces of art.

Brooks: Dude, I'm lucky that my wife allows me to keep them in the house at all.



Tim in Virginia: For the Race to the MVP, Chris Bosh has around the same averages as Kevin Garnett, but you have KG first and Bosh way lower. I really don't understand it.

Brooks: How much time do you have? We'll start with the 12-game difference in the standings for their respective teams and take it from there.



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