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News » MVP candidates . . . who have yet to win the award

MVP candidates . . . who have yet to win the award

MVP candidates . . . who have yet to win the award Here's a quick question for NBA trivia buffs: Who is the last person to win the Most Valuable Player award who is no longer an active player in the association? Believe it or not, it's Karl Malone, who won the second of his two MVPs for the lockout-shortened 1999 season with the Utah Jazz . In the 10 seasons since Malone took home the Maurice Podoloff trophy, eight players have won the award ? and all eight are still (more or less) productive players in the league.

The Jazz found out first-hand on Tuesday night that 2006-07 MVP Dirk Nowitzki is still capable of MVP-like games when he almost single-handedly rallied the Mavericks from a 16-point deficit to an 11-point win. A couple of the other former MVPs ? namely Cleveland's Shaquille O'Neal and Memphis' Allen Iverson ? are on the tail ends of their Hall of Fame-worthy careers and aren't MVP candidates anymore. But most of the rest could still finish among the top vote-getters for the award this season. The past two winners ? LeBron James and Kobe Bryant ? obviously enter the 2009-10 campaign as the odds-on favorites once again. But who could step up and win the award should James, Bryant and the other former MVPs fail to come through? Here's a look at the Top 10 MVP candidates who could win the award for the first time this season: 1. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat For him: Wade led the Heat to an NBA title in 2006, which gives him plenty of credibility, as does his 2008-09 scoring title. Has to be considered the top MVP candidate among all the players in the league not named LeBron or Kobe. He finished third in the voting last season. Against him: The Heat, while off to an impressive start, aren't likely to finish with one of the top five records in the league. MVP voters like to pick the top player from a title-contending club. Odds: 5 to 1 2. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic For him: Howard is the best center in the NBA. His team is coming off an Eastern Conference title run and he is well-liked by the media members who do the MVP voting. Against him: He's already battling a sore shoulder. Plus, his scoring numbers aren't likely to be as gaudy as James', Bryant's and Wade's ? although he will put up huge numbers in rebounds and blocked shots. Odds: 6 to 1 3. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets For him: He's a media darling because he's a tenacious little guy (see previous winners Nash, Steve, and Iverson, Allen). Against him: The Hornets, while still a playoff-caliber team, are probably just the fourth-best team in their own division. Odds: 15 to 1 4. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets For him: Denver's fine run to the Western Conference finals and strong start to the current campaign has given Anthony much-needed credibility after being seen as a troublemaker during previous seasons. He could battle for the league's scoring title this year. Against him: Anthony's spotty reputation proceeds him, and it may still be a couple of years before voters truly believe he's a "good guy" who deserves to get the association's top yearly individual honor. Odds: 20 to 1 5. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics For him: Pierce has been a loyal Celtic and has put up big numbers for years ? even before Boston became a title contender. Against him: With Garnett and Ray Allen around, it's hard to be certain that Pierce is even the MVP of his own team, let alone the entire league. Odds: 30 to 1 6. Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers For him: Roy is the best player on an up-and-coming team that should make some noise in the Western Conference race. Against him: He's still too young and won't have "paid his dues" yet when it comes to the MVP. Plus, with so much balance in Portland, Roy won't have to score 30 points per game for his team to be successful. Odds: 50 to 1 7. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs For him: Parker is a veteran floor general on one of the better teams in the NBA. He finished eighth in the voting last season. Plus, he's married to everyone's favorite Desperate Housewife, Eva Longoria-Parker. Against him: If the Spurs play well enough for one of their players to be considered an MVP candidate, chances are Tim Duncan and Parker will split the votes. Odds:100 to 1 8. Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets For him: As soon as Billups got to Denver, the Nuggets became Western Conference contenders. It was the opposite in Detroit, where the Pistons became worse when he left. Against him: His numbers won't be overly impressive. Plus, if a Nugget is to be a serious MVP contender, it's more likely Anthony Odds: 200 to 1 9. Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns For him: Stoudemire is a big man capable of putting up huge scoring and rebounding numbers. The absence of O'Neal should give him room to shine. Against him: He's been injury prone during his career and has never really lived up to the lofty expectations people have for him. Odds: 300 to 1 10 Deron Williams, Utah Jazz For him: Jazz fans will chant "M-V-P, M-V-P!" when he goes to the free-throw line late in the season. He'll once again lead the Jazz in both scoring and assists and will help make players around him better. Against him: He simply doesn't have the national image needed to be a serious MVP candidate yet. How could be possibly be voted as the MVP when he hasn't even been voted to an All-Star game? Odds: 1 million to 1 MOST VALUABLE All of the NBA MVPs from the last 10 seasons are all still in the league Year Player, team 2008-09 LeBron James, Cleveland 2007-08 Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 2006-07 Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas 2005-06 Steve Nash, Phoenix 2004-05 Steve Nash, Phoenix 2003-04 Kevin Garnett, Minnesota 2002-03 Tim Duncan, San Antonio 2001-02 Tim Duncan, San Antonio 2000-01 Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 1999-2000 Shaquille O'Neal, L.A. Lakers e-mail:

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Added: November 9, 2009


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