Sticking Up For Deron Williams
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Feb. 28, 2008 -- Although she may not be on the same level as legendary sports heckler Robin Ficker, there is a reader from Illinois who has been attacking yours truly on a regular basis via e-mail.

Here are some of Brenda from Springfield's greatest hits:

Feb. 25
"If Chris Paul is second in your ridiculous opinion in the MVP race, then Deron Williams should be No. 1. I am sick to death of this Chris Paul love fest! And I'm sick to death of you. The MVP will be determined when the final buzzer of the last playoff game goes off. And Chris Paul won't be anywhere in the vicinity."

Feb. 26
"You have clearly revealed your bias by stating that Deron Williams is not even in the same class as Chris Paul. You know what? I find you despicable. Even though you're clearly in love with Chris Paul (who punched another player in the groin during the NCAA tournament game that Wake Forest LOST ), that is no reason for you to trash Deron Williams. That's what makes you despicable. And how sweet it is to see the Hornets tanking, having lost 3 in a row. That ought to drop Chris Paul out of the top ten, but you're way too much in love to do the right thing and rank players FAIRLY. Oh, and by the way, go back and find the response that you ended with a preposition. Just one more reason why you're a lousy journalist....."

Feb. 27
"By the way, I also noticed that you picked Chris Paul to win the Skills Challenge. Guess what??? HE LOST.....to DERON WILLIAMS, who set a new record for the event. Comment on THAT!! Of course, you won't because Chris Paul LOST! Had he won, it would have been a different story. You give Deron Williams credit for absolutely nothing, and your comments regarding him are nasty, spiteful and unnecessary. And finally, you're not even good-looking...not even close to being good-looking. No wonder you're so hateful."

Brenda, I don't dislike D-Will. As a matter of fact, I got a chance to chat with him during All-Star Weekend and he was a real cool dude. If you are mad at me for saying that Paul is having a better season than Williams, oh well. Keep dishing the hate. I can take it.

Time to respond to some of your e-mails.



Citrus in America: Why haven't you been updating Race to the MVP?????

Brooks: Easy with the question marks. Race to the MVP, along with the Rookie and Power Rankings took one week off for the All-Star break. I received a dozen or so e-mails just like yours. Calm down, R2MVP is back.



Ross in Canada: Maurice, check out Jose Calderon's shooting percentages. They are rising like the thermometer on a hot August afternoon. What he is doing, is unprecedented in the history of the NBA. As you know 50-40-90 is considered the ultimate, and has only been achieved I believe six times in NBA history. Well, since becoming a starter, Calderon is shooting about 65 percent from the floor, well over 50 percent from the arc, and about 95 percent from the line. 60-50-95, you've got to be kidding me? This is the eqivalent of someone going the whole season averaging over 20 assists a game. Speaking of which, Calderon has been averaging well over 10 assists since becoming a starter and his assist to turnover ratio is at a historic level. The Toronto media is now starting to say that Calderon, not Bosh, is the Raptors' MVP.

Brooks: As one of the few people who write me every single week, I'm not going to kill you for implying that Calderon is more valuable to the Raptors than Bosh. I think Calderon is one of the favorites for Most Improved Player. We will let the crazed Toronto fans decide who is the Raptors' MVP: Calderon or Bosh?



Captain Disagreement: No need to worry readers! Captain Disagreement is here to save the day! Justice must be served Brooks, give Manu Ginobli the justice he deserves! He is the best sixth man in the league (when playing his usual non-starting role), and the sixth man is a VALUABLE (note the "V" in MVP) position. Are you not valuable if you are not a starter?

Brooks: When I start writing the Race to the Sixth Man, you betcha Manu will occupy the top spot. I can't argue with the production of a player who is averaging 20.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists for a division-leading squad. At the beginning of the season, I actually had him ranked above Tim Duncan before he got injured and his production slipped a bit.



The Wolf in Russia: Brooks , who do you think is the best defender from Dallas?

Brooks: The Cowboys strong safety Roy Williams.
Seriously Wolfie, the Allas Mavericks don' t play 'D' so I know you didn' t mean someone off their squad.



Mo in Canada: Kobe has a torn ligament in his pinkie, as I'm sure you know. Should he go ahead and do the surgery or play hurt for the rest of the season?

Brooks: Nice name, dude. The Lakers are hot (winners of nine straight) and Kobe's play hasn't slipped a bit, so it is obvious that he can play through the pain. The Lakers have a legit chance at winning the title this season. I say play and get the finger fixed in the fall.



Nino in Canada: Maurice I look forward to your apology to the San Antonio community doubting the heart of proven champions. Not to mention a Naval Officer. Remember your words below:

"Rounding out the field will be San Antonio's Tim Duncan, David Robinson and Becky Hammon. If this were a three-on-three tournament, San Antonio, because of Duncan and Robinson's size, would be overwhelming favorites. Unfortunately for San Antonio fans, in this contest there are six numbered shooting spots of increasing difficulty, with each team trying to make all the shots in order in the fastest amount of time. "

Brooks: My bad.



Dan in Germany: I really like how you write the R2MVP and that you respond to nickname suggestions like the one for Dwight Howard (Beast Of The East). I have one as well. We got King James. What do you think about Prince Paul?

Brooks: Isn't Prince Paul a hip hop producer? Also your name and country doesn't clue me in on whether you're making this nickname up for Paul Pierce or Chris Paul?



Jimmy in Canada Maurice, do you think Romeo Miller will be in the NBA one day?

Brooks: Lil' Romeo has skills on the court (and with a mic). He is a 6-0, 170-pound point guard, who averaged 14 points and almost six assists a game as a junior in high school and is headed to USC in the fall. His father, rapper Master P, has game, too. He tried out for two NBA teams in the 1990s and recently played in the McDonald's Celebrity game during All-Star weekend. How about we let him play in college before we start looking at his professional hoop possibilities?



Nanizm in Los Angeles: About time you recognized the greatness that is Kobe Bryant. My utter disgust of you not having him as the MVP two weeks ago got me to start an e-mail campaign of angry Lakers fans showing their disgust as well. I was only able to convince two people to participate in my campaign, so I am glad you saw the light anyway.

Brooks: I guess for my sake it's a good thing you don't have too many friends.



Adrian in America: Hey Bruce!..Come on, KOBE IS THE REAL MVP!... .

Brooks: I agree with what you said about KB24, but who the heck is Bruce?



Dylan in Australia: Are you kidding me? I opened R2MVP this week fully expecting you to have Amare Stoudemire in the top 10. Instead you DROPPED him. You are unbelievable. What is it going to take?

Brooks: A case can be made that STAT is playing better ball right now than anyone else in the league. The addition of Shaquille O'Neal has given him the opportunity to feast on power forwards instead of knocking heads on a nightly basis with bigger centers. Still, numbers don't lie. Phoenix has lost four of its past seven games and that is why Amare didn't move up in the rankings.



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