Monday, January 08, 2007

First Trimester Awards

As the NBA season leaves the first third of its games behind, here are a few award winners produced during the first 810 games (give or take):

Best Worst Shot -- Kevin Martin, Kings. Defying all logical odds, his jerky jumper (from beginning to its strange, twisting end) has helped the second year guard average a career-best 21.2 points on 50% shooting. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done. Somehow.
Runners Up: Tayshaun Prince, Shawn Marion, Leandro Barbosa

The Balls Award -- David Stern. No matter which way you look at this award, the commish has earned it. He finally grew a pair and admitted that the old-new ball, with its synthetic material and odd panels, was his mistake. The players cried for the new-old ball, the leather version used for years by the league, and Stern finally granted their wish. I'd say he handled the ball problem in the best possible way -- meeting it head-on with balls (leather, or otherwise).
Runners Up: Nuggets G.M. Mark Warkenstein, Spalding

The Home Away from Home Award -- NO/OK Hornets. These guys can't wait until the Sonics move full-time to Oklahoma City. With the recent success of the Saints, Byron Scott's Hornets (12-21) can probably rest assured that they'll wind up back in their original city of New Orleans. But until then, they have to split their home games between both cities. With their three leading scorers all plagued by injuries (Peja Stojakovic, back surgery; David West, right elbow problems; Chris Paul, right ankle sprain), this team needs a home to make them feel welcome.
Runners Up: Allen Iverson in Denver, Spurs on the road (12-5)

Best Defensive Game -- Suns at Nets, 12/7/06. Final Score: 161-157, Suns, in double-overtime. Enough said.
Runner Up: Nate Robinson vs. Nuggets

Most Ironic Statement -- "I'd like to thank Allen Iverson for the last 11 years." -Sixers GM Billy King. Are you like me? Can you picture AI's "you're welcome" coming in the form of a one-fingered salute? Here's a GM who wasted the prime of one of the best players ever. Say what you will about Iverson, but he can flat out score, busts his butt (during games, 'cuz we're not talking about practice), and never has issues with teammates. King is pretty much thanking Iverson for keeping his franchise afloat after he made so many bad mistakes and failed to build a consistent winner in the past 11 years.
Runner Up: "That Wade kid, I think we'll keep him."-- Interim Heat coach Ron Rothstein. With a roster full of 40-yr-olds ... they better.


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