Last night the NBA held their first, and hopefully last, Awards show. Other leagues have been doing this kind of thing for a few seasons now - but personally I feel like this sort of “Oscars meets bad live performances” type of thing is a spectacle that pales in comparison to a player being given a trophy for their individual efforts that they raise up in their arms in front of 20k screaming fans. That is an awesome moment that can only really happen in sports. Why change that? Anyway, I digress.
The awards handed out last night were:
- Hustle Award - Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
- #BestPlayoffMoment - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
- #PerformanceOfTheYear - Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
- #GameWinnerOfTheYear - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
- #DunkOfTheYear - Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder
- #BlockOfTheYear - Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
- #AssistOfTheYear - Draymond Green to Stephen Curry to Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
- #BestStyle - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Kia NBA Rookie of the year (ROY) - Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks
- Kia Most Improved Player (MIP) - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
- Kia Sixth Man of the year (6MOY) - Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
- NBA Sportsmanship Award - Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets
- NBA Cares Community Assist Award - Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
- Sager Strong Award - Monty Williams, San Antonio Spurs
- Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year - Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
- NBA Coach of the year (COY) - Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets
- NBA Basketball Executive of the year (Exec) - Bob Myers, Golden State Warriors
- Kia NBA Defensive Player of the year (DPOY) - Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
- Kia NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Lifetime Achievement Award - Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
So it was a pretty busy night filled with Drake as the Emcee, some forgettable musical performances, and a like of awkward silences.
Okay, maybe not forgettable for James Harden, though. GSW won 5 things, OKC 4, HOU 3, BOS/SAS/MIL 2, DAL/CHA with 1. So 22 other teams got, at best, nominated for stuff. Quite a few didn’t have any participants off the top of my head. That’s the NBA for you.
As for our Utah Jazz (and extended family), here’s how they fared in the voting:
- ROY (results) - No Jazz players
- MIP (results) - Rudy Gobert (3rd place), Gordon Hayward (tied 12th), Joe Ingles (tied 20th)
- 6MOY (results) - No Jazz players; Enes Kanter (OKC, tied 8th)
- COY (results) - Quin Snyder (6th), behind some guys he should not have been
- Exec (results) - Dennis Lindsey (3rd)
- Sportsmanship (results) - No Jazz players; DeMarre Carroll (TOR, 6th)
- Teammate (results) - Kyle Korver (ATL/CLE, 7th), Boris Diaw (9th), Al Jefferson (IND, 11th)
- DPOY (results) - Rudy Gobert (2nd place), 2nd most 1st place votes, 1st most 2nd and 3rd place votes
- MVP (results) - No Jazz players
All of the other info can be found at NBA.com here.
Most Improved Player:
Okay, losing to Giannis of the Bucks isn’t the end of the world. We love the Bucks, they are the Jazz of the East. And we love BrewHoop, their SB Nation site. It’s fun. They are fun. Giannis is awesome though, and we already knew that. Everyone knew that. He went from being awesome to becoming more awesome in this last season. Rudy Gobert went from being ‘nice’ in the eyes of the National Media and casual fans to being an All-NBA player, All-Defensive player, and potential DPOY — out of nowhere if you watch some YouTube videos.
The jump Rudy made on the basketball world’s consciousness (not Jazz fans) was huge. I’d say that alone means MIP. But hey, whatever. He came in third behind Giannis (428 points) and Nikola Jokic (161 points) of the Denver Nuggets. Gobert (113 points) did not get many 1st place votes for MIP (only one), while Jokic received 14. You can make an argument for all three of these guys. But I think they could have given it to Giannis and Rudy in a tie - if this wasn’t by votes but by ‘feel’.
I feel Rudy was robbed here. The votes say he wasn’t. And thus, we conclude for the nth time in human history that democracy is flawed because two stupid people trump the vote of one educated person who knows the issues.
Defensive Player of the Year:
Draymond Green? Don’t even get me started. He’s a huge part of what the Warriors do. If there was an MVP award for best 2nd banana on a team Dray should get it. (A Pippen award) But he’s not the focal point of their teams’ entire defensive scheme.
Rudy was robbed here, again not by votes but by the qualitative ‘feel’. I really ‘feel’ like Gobzilla is going to remember this night - a night of insult in his mind - when training this off-season. And he’s just going to wreck cities from coast to coast.