There has been one man this year who has changed his team from a group of traveling entertainers to a cohesive unit of championship contenders 8212; his name is Chris Webber.

Now, without calling timeout, say hello to Mr. Webber, your 2000-01 NBA MVP.

Webber has simply done it all on both ends of the court.

Also, he has developed what most raw talents must do to become great 8212; a ump shot.

When he hits that, he is nearly unstoppable. And this year, he&s hitting it.

Defensively he is doing it as well. He is dominating the glass and helping the Kings realize that defense really does win championships, as they are only giving up a respectable 95 points per game.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot 8212; his stats: 27.8 points per game, 11.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and nearly two blocks.

If those aren&t MVP numbers per game, I don&t know what are.

The difference between Webber and a MVP candidate like Allen Iverson is the players they go up against every night.

Of course, Sam &I haven&t played defense since the &95 finals& Cassell and Mark &I move slower than a 10-year-old on his way to the dentist& Jackson don&t have an answer for &The Answer.&

Iverson has had a great season, but you can&t disregard the fact that his conference is inferior.

The Sixers do have the best record in the league, but they are a very mediocre 15-11 against the West.

All you need to know is that the Rockets, who wouldn&t even be in the playoffs if they started today, are 23-4 against the East 8212; by the way, the Kings are 18-9 against the East, 27-12 in conference play.

Webber must deal with guys like Rasheed Wallace, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.

Everyone talks about the pounding Iverson&s small frame takes night-in and night-out, but, personally, I would rather get knocked down by Reggie Miller than Shaq.

To be the best, you gotta beat the best, and that&s what Webber has done all season.

Whoever wins it, it sure will be a Gore-Bush finish.



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