Today the National Basketball Players’ Association awarded the following people with these awards:
MVP: Stephen Curry
Toughest to Guard: Stephen Curry
Coach You Most Like to Play For: Gregg Popovich
Best Off the Bench:Jamal Crawford
Best Defender:Kawhi Leonard
Best Homecourt Advantage: Golden State Warriors / Oracle Arena
Best Dressed: Russell Westbrook
Best Rookie: Karl-Anthony Towns
Global Impact: Kobe Bryant
Most Influential Veteran: Tim Duncan
Player You Wish Was on Your Team: LeBron James
Best Social Media Follow: LeBron James
Clutch Performer: Stephen Curry
Best Comeback Player: Paul George
Stephen Curry, the reigning MVP for the past two seasons, has earned himself another MVP award. This time he received the award from fellow players. He also managed to snag the title of “Toughest to Guard” in the NBA, as well as “Clutchest Performer”. Players described Steph as:
“Humble–the guy you want on your team–the guy you don’t want on the other team–confident–very talented– and more.”
“The Coach You’d Most like to Play For” was given to Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich displays has shown his great ability to coach in many ways. One way is through the success of the Spurs since he became the head coach. As the head coach he is a 5x NBA Champion, 3x Coach of the Year, and 4x NBA All-Star Game Coach. Some of the players who have been coached by Popovich say:
“He is a leader on and off the court and the way he always has a positive mindset night in and night out is unbelievable.”
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonia Spurs Small Forward, won “Best Defender” for his efforts on that end of the floor. He has been the “Defensive Player of the year” the past two consecutive seasons. This year the other players in the league agreed that his defense deserved some recognition.
The players picked Karl-Anthony Towns to be the “Best Rookie” of the 2015-2016 season. The NBA also considered his play this year to be the best, giving him the “Rookie of the Year” title. This year he averaged 18.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 2.0 APG. Towns, being a one-and done from the University of Kentucky, found himself being drafted to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.
Jamal Crawford got selected to be the “Best Off the Bench”. The Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard has proven himself to be a pretty dominant bench player time and time again. He is a 3x NBA Sixth Man of the Year. He averaged 14.2 PPG, 2.3 APG, and 1.8 RPG. He contributed his fair share of buckets while coming off the bench.
Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors, was named the “Best Homecourt Advantage”. All season long the Warriors have been the hardest team to beat at home due to the energy from the fans in the crowd. The Warriors showed their homecourt advantage when they broke the NBA record for longest regular season home game winning streak: 54 wins. They topped Michael Jordan’s 95-96 Bulls record of 44 games.
“Best Dressed” was given to Russell Westbrook. All throughout the year he has been setting a fashion statement for the rest of the league with some of the funkiest outfits. Despite being questioned for some of his styles and tight jeans, he remained true to himself and never cared about what other people thought. Russell even got a contract with True Religion early last year in 2015 to be a creative director for the ‘Be So Bold’ campaign.
LeBron James won “Best Social Media Follow” and “Player You Wish Was On Your Team”. Over the many years LeBron has been in the league, he has become one of the most criticized but also one of the most beloved players in the game. His play is respected from many other players. He has made multiple finals appearances and taken his teams to the playoffs almost every year he has played.
Paul George was chosen to be the “Best Comeback Player”. After suffering a compound fracture in his right leg back in the 2014 offseason, Paul George had to sit out most of the 2014-2015 season. He played the last six games of the 2014-2015 regular season but ended there when his team failed to make the playoffs. He worked hard to get back to the level he was before his injury, during the 2015 offseason. He return the 2015-2016 season back and better. He averaged 23.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 2.0 APG.
Kobe Byrant, the Black Mamba, was selected to be the have the most “Global Impact”. His generosity, charitably, and his legacy will never be forgotten in the game of basketball. He exposed people all around the world to the game of basketball and showed them the true meaning of the game. He will forever be a legend to the game.
“The Most Influential Veteran” was awarded to Tim Duncan. Also called the Big Fundamental, was described by his fellow players as:
“He’s what basketball is all about. A great role model to younger players. He shows that fundamentals are still a key to be the best.”
His leadership and love for the game inspired other players to want to become better themselves and truly understand the game of basketball itself.
Written by Jason White