On Monday night, at 9 p.m., the NBA award winners will be announced in the first ever NBA Awards Show, on TNT. What’s happened here is the NBA saw another chance to do what they do best: put more stuff on T.V., and they took it.
The truth is, it’s a little interesting to see who wins the awards, but it’s probably not worth watching on live T.V. It’s more like something you look up on your phone the next day, when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office at 1:17, wondering why they haven’t called you in for your 1:00 appointment.
In the NBA, there are only a few awards to look out for. It’s not like the NFL where there are awards for offensive and defensive rookies and players, position specific awards, performance specific awards, and more.
Though, it may be better than the MLB, which gives away gold gloves in the clubhouse vending machines.
We all know the awards aren’t 100 percent legitimate. No one wants to see the same people winning all the time, so voters will change it up at any opportunity, just to add some parity. Of course, this is present in all sports, not just in the NBA awards, and it’s not always a bad thing.
However, this year, the NBA has allowed the least qualified people in the world to vote on who wins their awards: The Fans.
So, because the NBA awards may be missing a few pieces, we stepped in to fill the gaps with our own awards. Hopefully these fill in some of the details that NBA aficionados won’t get from the actual awards.
Some of these awards are more factual, or relevant, than others, but one thing is for sure, fans didn’t vote on them, so you know they are trustworthy.
Your 2017 NBA awards, 2.0:
The Gregg Popovich Award
This award was first introduced in 1949, when Gregg Popovich was born. Ever since, the committee decided to name an annual award after him, to be bestowed upon the best NBA coach currently alive anywhere in the world, at any age.
In its inaugural year, 1949, the first winner of the Gregg Popovich best coach in the world award, was Popovich himself, at only 6 months old.
2017 Gregg Popovich Award winner: Gregg Popovich.
Past winners include: Gregg Popovich (67 times), Lebron James (1 time; coach of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers).
Speaking of which…
Best Player of the Year Award.
Unlike the NBA MVP award, this one is given to the most valuable player in the NBA.
Best player of the year 2017: Lebron James
Boring, but it had to be said. And I don’t even like Lebron.
Best Player of the Year Not Named Lebron Award
Lebron was obvious, but there are so many consistently good players, that it makes for an interesting debate to seriously consider who the second-best player in the league is each year.
This contrasts with the “Gregg Popovich Award,” because the second-best coach debate isn’t half as intriguing.
2017 Best Player of the Year Not Named Lebron Award winner: Kawhi Leonard.
A case can be made for Durant, and a few others, but KD missed a chunk of the season for injury, and the awards are for the regular season. Still, no one affects the game on both ends of the floor like Kawhi. Just try to remember the last player with Kawhi’s defensive ability who was anywhere near as formidable offensively.
Westbrook and Harden discussion to come.
12th Man of the Year Award:
Exactly twice as prestigious as the 6th man of the year award.
2017 12th Man of the Year Award winner: Boban Marjonovic
Some argue Boban should not be eligible because he registered six and a half games as the 11th man in the rotation. But, how could we not give this award to everyone’s favorite, oversized Serbian.
Also, in his rookie season, Boban put up numbers only comparable to Wilt Chamberlain and Steph Curry. Is this the world’s greatest example of the importance of sample size? Decide for yourself: Boban’s Historic Rookie Year
Best Overhyped Side Story
2017 Best Overhyped Side Story Award winner: Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden Debate
The debate between which two of these stars was the better player, or deserved the MVP, dominated media discussions toward the end of the season. But for all the talk of, “can these guys will their teams to be better than they are,” both the Thunder and Rockets turned out to be exactly what we expected.
The Thunder, an ultimately harmless, one man show, that Houston beat in five games. And the Rockets, although a step better than OKC, still a tier below the NBA’s best.
It was cool to watch these amazing players put up mind-boggling numbers, but one wonders if those were as much a product of the newer style of NBA offenses, and the unprecedented amount of time each player had the ball in his hands, as it was their incredible basketball abilities. Both Harden and Westbrook are unbelievable players, but the hype around them did not amount to much.
Ugliest Jump Shot Award:
Winner: Shawn Marion, still.
The only retired player to win an award intended for current NBA players.
Joakim Noah was a close second, but when we crunched the numbers, it turned out Joakim Noah and Shawn Marion made the same number of jumpers in NBA games in 2017. Plus, Shawn Marion provided slightly more value to the New York Knicks this year than Joakim Noah did.
Shout out to other nominees, Cole Aldrich and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, maybe next year.
Least Improved Player Award:
This award is given to the most disappointing player of the past NBA season.
2017 Least Improved Player Award: Chandler Parsons
Injuries kept him off the court for all but 34 games, and he looked rusty when he was on the court, shooting about 34%. The Grizzlies spent all-star money on a six point per game scorer, and owe him all-star money for the next three years.
In Parson’s defense, his play was affected by the loss of his bromance with Mark Cuban, but his grieving process should only take another year or two.
That’s all for this year’s awards.
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