The NBA, is enjoying a period of success and popularity it has not seen since the Jordan Years; due in large part, not only to its dazzling array of talent, but also to a playing style that is more team oriented and far more pleasing to the eye of the average NBA and sports fan, than the isolation basketball era that had just preceded this current one.
However, the NBA is still filled with a bunch of old heads and media personalities, who cling onto the iso ball era, and tend to over exaggerate the greatness of its players and coaches, unfortunately to the detriment of today’s coaches and players, who have helped to usher in this new era of exciting team basketball.
For Coach Brad Stevens to not get a single vote from his peers, is a testament to this reality. This is the same reason that when Steph Curry deservedly won his first MVP back in 2014/2015, his ‘old-head’ peers selected James Harden as ‘their’ MVP.
There is simply no room for team oriented players and coaches…in a team sport. Ridiculous.
Unfortunately for Brad Stevens, objective persons are not allowed to vote on the Coach of the Year award. And while Doc Rivers for example, who wasn’t even able to make the playoffs and is currently watching, as Brad Stevens is performing a coaching masterclass in these same playoffs (all without his two best players by the way), he was able to garner one more vote than Stevens, who got none; embarrassing for the NBA, who need to take the vote away from coaches and give it to sports writers.
Brad Stevens’ snub, also means that Ben Simmons, who is the new flavour of the month for all of the ‘old head’ ex-players, will win the Rookie of the Year Award over the more deserving Donovan Mitchell.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been close, but if you really listen to the arguments in support of Simmons; it’s all about what he’s projected to become. ‘Oh but he’ll learn to shoot in no time.”
Well, right now, he can’t shoot and he can’t make free throws, and Mitchell THIS year has just about had a better season, LEADING his team in a far tougher conference.
It is those extenuating circumstances which means that Mitchell should be the ROY, not Simmons, who while having impressive stats, is playing with Joel Embiid, who is currently the leader of that team.
Whether Simmons WILL be better, is not what the award should be based on and unfortunately, Mitchell and his proponents have not helped his case with the ludicrous argument that Simmons is not a rookie. He’s not, but the rules are already in place, and using that argument has just provided Simmons’ backers with more fuel for his case.
But the main reason Simmons will win is because he reminds the media and the former players of Ervin Johnson, a throw back to ‘better times’, a throw back player.
Mitchell on the other hand, who is currently putting up Steph Curry numbers from 3 as a rookie, will be overlooked because, he’s ‘too small’ and is not a ‘physical freak of nature.’ like Simmons is.
The fact that Mitchell, because of his superior ‘basketball skills’ like shooting for instance, has had a slightly better year than the more physically gifted Simmons, won’t mean anything to the media.
Simmons will win the award because he’s ‘special.’ Whatever that means, as if Mitchell hasn’t been special this year himself. He should win but won’t win because he is facing the backlash from a nostalgic media and former players’ fraternity, who for some reason have grown sick of the Steph Curry, team ball NBA, that is now highlighting the superior technical and basketball skills of smaller players.
And this over-rating of a very good player in Ben Simmons, will be their (hopefully) final attempt, at dragging the NBA, back to being a sport where a bunch of 7 footers who can’t shoot, dominate simply because of their size.