Tony Parker's contributions to the league best San Antonio Spurs are getting more recognition from the media. Charles Barkley, TNT analyst, also made the case for Parker to be named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA and it seems TP has heard the rumblings of his name being thrown around as a candidate.
In an interview with French website RMCSport.com, Parker gave his thoughts on being in the discussions along with who he thinks should also be named along with him.
Of course LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. Then there is Kevin Durant. For me, these are the two best with also Kobe (Bryant). The MVP should go to the team that has the better record.
As Parker states, it can either go to the player who's putting up the best numbers or the team with the best record.
While some may think it's automatically going to LeBron James, there were two occurrences where Steve Nash (2005 and 2006) for his contributions to the Phoenix Suns' record over his overall numbers.
Parker's contributions plus his record may tilt the odds in his favor if the same formula is taken into account for the MVP this season. Parker does have a good all-around team around him with no "dominate" superstars. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are not anything close to what they used to be a few years ago, while Parker has been the one who's taken command of the team with everything going through him.
James has Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh around him, both who may still be in the primes of their career or capable of playing extremely well every night. Kevin Durant has Russell Westbrook, who typically has as many great games as Durant during a season, and Serge Ibaka.
Kobe Bryant's name should also be in the conversation, but the Lakers (arguably) have the most talented starting unit in the league. Out of those, it's Parker who's had to carry the slack and burden to help his team win without as much help as the other candidates.
For Parker though, an MVP might not be the most important accomplishment he'd like to have this season.
Most importantly, it is the title. It is more beautiful to win an NBA title with my team. If I happen to be MVP, this will be an honor. But I think it might be too much.
You can't help but think that Parker would love to be the league's Most Valuable Player, but it would all be for nothing if he didn't hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in June at the end of the postseason.
Spurs fans have the same mentality as Parker, the championship is what's important.
In the interview, Parker mentions Karl Malone and Charles Barkley as MVP candidates, neither won an NBA title and that was something they'd admittedly rather have than the MVP. This is an incredible tell of Parker's maturity at this point of his career, where he's putting the team, organization, and its fans first over his accomplishments.
With Parker leading the team this season, it's safe to say it's "championship or bust" in his mind and the fan base wouldn't have it any other way.