Monday, May 28, 2012

The Most Bogus Awards in Sports: NBA

If you have been keeping up with the blog lately, you will notice lately I have been in a mood to write about awards. Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine about awards in sports. I think it was during watching footage of a massive train-wreck...or it could've been during one of the Laker playoff games...same difference. Actually I think an actual train-wreck would probably be more satisfying and less disappointing. Anyways, on the screen, there was a graphic displaying the playoff and regular season records of Lakers head coach Mike Brown, with a footnote stating he won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2009. That got me thinking...this award is bullshit, meaningless, retarded, and most of all...BOGUS! And with that, I had my next article...the most bogus awards in sports.

Then I started thinking. What are the most bogus awards in sports? When I started listing them, I came to a realization. Guess what it was. ALL OF THE MOST BOGUS AWARDS IN SPORTS ARE NBA AWARDS! Let's break this bitch down:

NBA Coach of the Year

Fact #1: 11-time champion (The most in professional sports history), and someone who is widely recognized as one of the (if not the greatest) coaches, not only in the NBA but in sports history, Phil Jackson, has won the NBA Coach of Year award only ONE TIME in more than 20 years of coaching in the NBA!

This is a fucking travesty. I am not saying this because I am a Laker fan. I am making the same argument for his long-time rival and Spurs head coach Greg Popovich. This leads me to fact # 2.

Fact #2: From the year 1991 to 2010 (20 year span), Phil Jackson (11 rings) and Greg Popavich (4 rings) have combined for 17 finals appearances and 15 out of the 20 championships. But they have combined for only 2 Coach of the Year awards in that span. (Both have 1 each, with Popavich winning a second most recently in 2012.)

Are you fucking kidding me? Ok. here is the deal with this award. I understand it is a regular season award. So the coach that ends up winning the championship is not necessarily the coach that did the best job throughout the regular season. But are you telling me that Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich have not done a better job in the regular season than a lot of the other coaches who have won the award? More often than not, this award has become the award for "The team that was better than we expected it to be." We can't explain why they were better (probably more due to the players playing better than the coach) so we attribute it to the coach and give him Coach of the Year.

Here are some examples:

1. 1992: Don Nelson won the award with Golden State (55-27) over Phil Jackson with the Bulls (67-15) - Nelson definitely didn't have the same roster that Jackson did...but still! The dude won 67 games! And it's not like Don Nelson was coaching a bunch of scrubs. He had freaking Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin in their primes! And a pretty good rest of the roster as well. But just because they weren't expected to be good and they were, and Phil Jackson had Jordan, Don Nelson won Coach of the Year despite Phil Jackson meeting his expectations and winning a significantly higher number of games. Bullshit!

2. 1995: Lakers coach Del Harris won despite only being 6 games over 500 (48-34). He did a very good job considering he had a limited roster and no real big names. But did he really do that much of a better job than Bob Hill of the Spurs (62-20) and Jerry Sloan of the Jazz (60-22)? I don't think so! Sure they had David Robinson and Stockton/Malone, but winning 60 games in the NBA is impossible without a good coaching job night in and night out.

3. 2000: Doc Rivers won the award despite being 41-41 and MISSING the playoffs! To his credit, he had Darrell Armstrong as his best player. But does that deserve a Coach of the Year award? Nope! Meanwhile...Phil Jackson went 67-15 (AGAIN!) and lost the Coach of the Year award (AGAIN!)

Look...I am not saying the coach with the best record should win Coach of the Year ALL THE TIME. But they should win MORE OFTEN! It's a very hard thing to have the best record in the league. Especially when you are expected to be the best and the pressure is on you to be the best and anything else would be considered a failure. And guys like Phil Jackson, Greg Popovich, and Jerry Sloan have succeeded season after season in that pressure-packed environment. So they should be rewarded for it over some coach who has up and coming players with no pressure to win (Scott Brooks 2010).

Also, just because great coaches have great players, they shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to this award. Phil had Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, and Kobe. Popovich had/has Robinson, Duncan, Parker and Ginobli. It's still DAMN HARD to BE EXPECTED to be THE BEST and then ACTUALLY BE THE BEST. No one has gotten more out of complete NUTJOBS than Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich. Guys like Dennis Rodman, Ron Artest, Robert Horry, and Stephen Jackson would be, and were NIGHTMARES under other coaches. Having them on your roster for an entire should be an achievement worthy enough for this award on its own!

NBA Most Valuable Player

Ok. This going to sound like I am a bitchy Laker fan. But it's not. Seriously. I mean...I am a bitchy Lakers fan in a general sense but not in this situation. Here is the thing about the Most Valuable Player Award. Sometimes they get it right. But too often they get it wrong. And by a HUGE margin. Here is an example:

Ask most hardcore NBA fans from a wide variety of ages to OBJECTIVELY make their all-time 15 player team. (12 active players and 3 injured reserves) Both Shaquille Oneal and Kobe Bryant would be on virtually every single person's team. Some would have them starting, most would have them on the bench, and few would have them on the IR. But they would be on the roster of almost every single person's all-time team. At the same token, Steve Nash would NOT be on most people's teams. And for the few people that would put him on there, he might make their IR or low bench at best! Laker fan or not, we all all agree that most people would have either Kobe Bryant or Shaquille Oneal in their prime over Steve Nash in his prime. Each of them is a better over-all player, better inherent talent, and has had a better career. But when it is all said and done, here is a fact for you:

FACT: Steve Nash has won two MVPs. This is the same amount of MVPs that both Shaquille Oneal and Kobe Bryant have won COMBINED!!! (1 each)

The year Steve Nash won his second MVP (2006...I think), Kobe Bryant should have been the MVP. He was by far the best player in the league, and he lead a very very very TERRIBLE Lakers team (Immature Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm, and Smush Parker were his best teammates) to the playoffs single-handedly!!! He averaged 30+ 5 and 5!!!

I don't want to keep going on and on about Kobe Bryant. Because this is not about me being a Lakers fan. But this example is part of a bigger issue. Here is heart of this entire article (I took a while for me to get to it.)

The NBA Awards voters do not always vote for the most deserving player.

NBA voters get way too excited about a story. Take a look at Steve Nash's MVPs. He was a decent PG for most of his careers. A very good player. A border-line all-star. But NOT an MVP caliber player. Then all of a sudden he goes to Phoenix, doubles his assists average, and becomes the heart and best player of a new fast-paced high energy/high scoring Suns offense. What a great story...especially for a white guy! The voters become enamored with the story and they give him the MVP. Had Steve Nash done that for his entire career, he would have never won an MVP. (Because that's exactly what John Stockton did.) Look at Steve Nash's numbers in those 2 MVP seasons. Guys like John Stockton and Isiah Thomas did that pretty much their entire careers. AND they played defense! But they never had a mid-career jump like Nash and therefore no MVPs! Don't believe me?

Here are the numbers:

Steve Nash
MVP Season 1: 15.5 points/ 3.3 rebounds/ 11.5 assists/ 1 steals/ 3.3 turnovers/ 50% FG/ 43% 3pt/ 89% FT
MVP Season 2: 18.8 points/ 4.2 rebounds/ 10.5 assists/ 0.8 steals/ 3.5 turnovers/ 51% FG/ 44% 3pt/ 92% FT

John Stockton
His best Season and pretty much an average season for his career (Came in 9th in the MVP voting!): 17.2 points/ 2.6 rebounds/ 14.5 assists/ 2.7 steals/ 3.5 turnovers/ 51% FG/ 42% 3pt/ 82% FT

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??? COMPARE THOSE FUCKING NUMBERS! Both players had the same type of success in terms of winning so that cancels out! Now I do understand Stockton was playing in an era where there were many more great players. But still...if he was an average PG his whole career and then all of a sudden started putting up the numbers I showed, he would have won the MVP too. But he did that shit EVERY year. Everybody was used to it. So there no STORY there. That's why he didn't MVP and Nash did!

You can say the same thing about Allen Iverson's MVP over Shaq in 2001. Shaq was the TRUE MVP pretty much every year from 1998 to 2004. But Iverson finally had a winning season in 2001 and it became a story. Shaq was his usual dominant self and there was no story there. So Iverson wins MVP.

The same thing happened the year before last with Derrick Rose. Lebron James should have won that MVP. But he was part of a NEGATIVE story in the whole Miami fiasco. And Rose was part of a GOOD story that the voters and media became enamored with. As much as I hate Lebron James, he should have won Rose's MVP. I mean just look at the numbers. And the winning. (In the regular season)

The All-NBA teams are subject to this media biased as well. In 2004-2005, Kobe Bryant averaged 35 5 and 5. Are you fucking kidding me? That was his best statistical year. And the dude was on the 3rd Team All-NBA!!! Are you trying to tell me that he was not one of the best 10 players that season??? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE WITH THAT SHIT! He was part of a negative story line with the whole Shaq and ball-hog thing and therefore, he was not voted on the All-NBA team. I mean with those crazy numbers you HAVE to put a player on AT LEAST the 2nd team. Kevin Love made the second team this year with crazy numbers and even LESS wins than Kobe in 2005. But since Love was not part of a negative story line, the voters had no problem giving him the 2nd team.

The same thing with the All-Defensive team award. BEFORE the whole Shaq debacle in 2005, Kobe Bryant was named to the All-Defensive team (or 2nd team) the previous 5 years in a row. AFTER the whole Shaq debacle in 2005, Kobe Bryant has been named on there the next/last 7 All-D (or 2nd) teams including 2011-2012. But in 2005? Nothing! So are you trying to tell me that in that one year Kobe Bryant's defense was not as good as the previous 5 or the next 7 years? That's a bunch of donkey jizz! How fucking bogus is that? Just because he was part of the negative story line the voters didn't vote for him. It had nothing to with defensive ability!

There are so many more example of this! It's just that I am a Laker fan so for the most part I know about/remember the examples that involve Laker I ended up writing about those. It has nothing to do with me bitching about giving awards to Laker players. If you are smart and objective, you will see that...and you will also see that I am right! It's just a shame that NBA voters become too enamored with media story lines instead of voting based on pure basketball reasons. I would love to write about other examples but this is already turning into a huge article that I think only sports nerds like me will end up reading till the end. So if you want to nerd it out about this topic discuss/argue/share some of these examples, or if you have your own, you know where to hit me up!

Thanks for reading!
Yours truly,
The King of Nothing

PS. I totally forgot about this until a friend pointed it out. Wrap your minds around this piece of turd: Tyson Chandler won the Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 yet failed to make the 1st All-NBA Defensive Team. (He made the 2nd team) Just think about that for a second. This is what you get when you have some awards being determined by the media and other awards being determined by coaches. But most importantly, this is what you get when you have a bogus league!


  1. Its mostly due to not having a clear definition of award category. I.e. Should the MVP be defined by stats or which player is more valuable to his team? its bunch of donkey jizz

    1. I agree. It is a bunch of donkey jizz. But even if it is not defined, it would be ok if they did not vote according to media hype and/or non-basketball related story lines