By Kevin Luo
The last few years, the NBA MVP has been an obvious choice for the media voters. This year, the NBA MVP has been a huge point of debate. Whether the MVP goes to Steph Curry or James Harden, there isn’t a wrong answer. However, the media MVP might not be the most sought-after award this season.
The NBA Players’ Association announced a couple weeks ago that there will now be a Players’ Awards voted on anonymously by all the players. The awards will include the players’ MVP as well as a number of other awards.
I think this is a fantastic idea, and I think it may eventually become the more significant award amongst NBA players. The respect from media members is cool, but there’s no respect like the respect of your peers. NBA players have a strong brotherhood, and getting recognized by the rest of the league is the ultimate acclaim.
A couple of criticisms have been generated about this idea. Many in the media claim that NBA players don’t follow or watch as much basketball during the year as the people who cover it. This means that the NBA players won’t have the smartest opinion on who should win the big awards.
I say this criticism is utterly ridiculous. First of all, on off days, I’m sure many NBA players are watching ESPN, TNT or ABC games, and many players probably have League Pass. Players also have scouting reports on players they’ll be playing against. Lastly, players play against players. Whether you play in high school, college, the pros, at the park or the YMCA, the best way to know who the best players really are is to play against them or with them. That’s something the media doesn’t have the benefit of doing.
Another criticism of this new system is that the media claims the awards will be too biased, and players will only vote for their friends and teammates. Although I must admit this is possible, I think now that these are official awards, players will take their voting seriously and take it as a sign of respect to the game to vote properly. Also, I’m sure the media has its fair share of biases and votes for their favorite players who always give good quotes and answer their interview questions.
Overall, I think these new awards are great for the league. Having players select these awards should make them even more special for players, and I hope they become the official NBA Awards sometime in the future.