ESPN's Skip Bayless hasn't been shy about his love for the Spurs. He's even gone so far as saying that they're "his" San Antonio Spurs, so it won't come as a surprise that a player in a silver and black jersey gets his nod for NBA MVP this season.
On the February 21 show of the network's show "First Take," the question of who would be taken between Tony Parker and Chris Paul. Skip not only stopped at picking Parker over Paul but also stated that Parker is indeed the Most Valuable Player this season over LeBron James. While it's debatable on who the MVP actually is (even though many believe LeBron will win either way), Parker has lead the Spurs this season to the best record in the entire league. As Bayless points out, Parker's had stretches where his supporting cast has been injured for a stretch while Lebron's maintained a healthy team the majority of this season.
Whether you agree with Bayless or not, he has solid points to back up his claim. Jemelle Hill, on the other hand, picks Chris Paul over Parker in this debate. The reasons she gives for supporting Paul are not strong at all, which add to fans' mind of a bias against the San Antonio team. She explains she'd pick Paul because he plays with a "mean" demeanor, which is something he's not known for nor shows on the court. His best defense are steals, but playing the lanes doesn't make a player a great overall defender. Paul is seen as the polar opposite of "mean" or "tough" on the court with his constant bickering and whining about calls (something the Spurs have also been known for).
Her main reasoning for picking Paul over Parker was that CP3 made his teammates better while Parker doesn't. It's true that Paul makes the Los Angeles Clippers better, especially during that stretch they were awful when he was injured. The problem with that argument is that Parker's been healthy for most of the season and it's hard to use her reasoning for Paul and against Parker. We don't know how the Spurs would play through a stretch without Parker, but we do know that Parker's play has made his teammates better.
This isn't just his role players, but the other members of the Spurs' "Big 3" in Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. It's Parker's play that's giving Danny Green open looks consistently and having the luxury of bringing Ginobili off the bench to take command of the second unit. The biggest factor of all, which she even openly concedes in the video after arguing against it, is that Parker has made Tim Duncan better this year. She politely scoffs at Bayless saying that Parker makes Duncan better then actually agrees with Bayless by saying "maybe right now," which is actually Bayless' argument.
The truth about Duncan's "Fountain of Youth" is that Parker has taken such great command of the team's offense and given it a chemistry that Duncan is not needed to run post up plays (or "4 Downs") anymore. This is a major reason why Duncan has been a force on the defensive end, because Parker has shouldered the burden of the offense.
That's what makes Parker's play priceless this year, something that a handful of other players can do in this league.
What do you Spurs fans think about this discussion? Who would be the best point guard to take between the two?
It depends on the type of system a team has. Chris Paul fits well with the Clippers system, because of his style of play. Paul looks to assist more than attack, while Parker looks to attack more than assist. Because of the Spurs system, Parker can do what he does, and because of the Clippers system, Paul can do what he does. Parker has improved his assist in 2 years, and because of that he's become even more of a threat on the court. For our team, I would choose Parker.