"Perkins guarding Paul." Photo credit: Eric Kilby (Creative Commons)
As a Lakers fan, I was beyond upset when LeBron James was injured against the Atlanta Hawks when Solomon Hill "accidentally" fell on James' ankle, causing him to miss an extended amount of time. After that I knew James would not win the the MVP because he has missed too many games. Many stars went down this season due to injury, but one has not only avoided injury, he has completely changed the franchise he plays for.
That would be none other than Chris Paul, new point guard for the Phoenix Suns. After being traded to the Suns from OKC over the summer, Paul has completely changed the franchise. For decades, the Suns have been the laughing stock of the NBA. They were the team that other teams looked forward to playing because they have always been so awful. The Suns were a team always expected to finish near the bottom of the standings. Even with their star shooting guard Devin Booker, the Suns never managed to climb to new heights.
That all changed once Paul got there. He has turned a dead franchise into a #2 seed in the West. This is nothing new for Chris Paul. Every team that he goes to, he turns around the franchise and makes them playoff contenders. When Chris Paul leaves a team, they ultimately collapse to what they were before he got there. New Orleans, Houston and OKC are an absolute mess now that Paul is gone. The only team that has recovered is the Los Angeles Clippers, but it took years before they were able to build a good team.
I know I have not listed any of Paul's stats, but why I think he deserves MVP has nothing to do with stats. It has to do with what he does for teams he is on. Paul turns average players into stars and revives franchises and makes them relevant. If not for Paul, the Suns would be last in the West and non-contenders. The only player in the NBA who has this same effect on a team is LeBron James. That is why I believe Chris Paul is the MVP of the NBA this year.