Kobe Wins MVP
I keep hearing about how everyone doesn't like Kobe, and that he probably won't win the MVP award AGAIN, but guess what? He IS going to finally win it, and he definitely does deserve it. I was a little worried there for a while, thinking that Chris Paul might steal the award away from him, but Paul will have his time in the spotlight before we know it. Kobe is arguably the best & most refined all-around player in the league, and his Lakers are the (again arguably) best team out there, so this SHOULD be the year that he wins it. I agree with the idea that a player who has an outstanding individual season, but who's team doesn't do well, shouldn't win the MVP (kind of like when Alex Rodriguez won the AL MVP back in '03 with the Rangers who went 71-91). So, I say again, this is Kobe's year.
Collectors seem to be targeting Kobe's higher end cards, driving up the value for his 96-97 Topps Chrome RC from an average monthly TAC of $176.54 in April to $211.78 so far in May. His 96-97 Topps Draft Picks insert is selling in the $120-130 range this month, up from around $90 in April. His mid-valued rookies have fallen in price, with his 96-97 Finest RC selling for around $20-22 over the past week, slightly down from $23.90 in April, and his 96-97 E-X RC selling for around $20, down from around $30.
Personally, I'm hoping for a Lakers-Hornets Western Final, and Lakers-Celtics Championship. These match-ups would be great for the hobby, and awesome to watch! I think that all hobbyists (and fans of the game for that matter) are tired to seeing the Spurs and/or Pistons playing for the title. Those two teams' stars have minimal hobby impact, and quite frankly aren't very interesting to watch.