In a conference call last week, NBA commissioner David Stern made it clear that he wasn’t a huge fan of “homer” announcers.
But it’s one thing to watch a broadcast of the Portland Trail Blazers – or any team – and get an earful of blind support for the home team. It’s entirely another when some of these broadcasters extend their undying support when they vote on the NBA’s season-ending awards.
Knicks guard J.R. Smith won the Sixth Man Award today. The league released the voting breakdown and … well, here. You take a look.
Player Team 1st (5 pts) 2nd (3 Pts) 3rd (1 Pt) Total
J.R. Smith New York 72 39 7 484
Jamal Crawford LA Clippers 31 59 20 352
Jarrett Jack Golden State 14 15 55 170
Kevin Martin OKC 2 3 12 31
Ryan Anderson New Orleans 1 1 3 11
Andre Miller Denver – – 7 7
Jordan Crawford Boston 1 – – 5
Manu Ginobili San Antonio – 1 1 4
Carl Landry Golden State – 1 1 4
Nate Robinson Chicago – – 4 4
Corey Brewer Denver – 1 1 4
Ramon Sessions Charlotte – — 2 2
Shane Battier Miami – — 2 2
Luke Babbitt Portland – — 1 1
Gordon Hayward Utah – — 1 1
Vince Carter Dallas – — 1 1
J.J. Redick Milwaukee – — 1 1
I have no problem with the first four guys on the list. Jack was indispensable for the Warriors this season and probably warranted some first-place consideration, given that there were 121 ballots. Martin should get some credit for accepting a new role as a reserve and helping the Thunder post the best record in the West.
It’s after that where people start taking stupid pills.
A first-place vote for Ryan Anderson? He shot 42 percent from the field for a team that lost 55 games. Come on. The
Hornets Pelicans would have lost 55 games if Anthony Anderson was their sixth man.
A first-place vote for Jordan Crawford? He went from leading scorer to DNP-CD collector in Washington, was traded for a guy who was out for the season and averaged an awesome 9.1 points on 41 percent shooting for Boston, which went 13-15 when he played.
The Crawford vote was such an outlier I actually contacted the NBA to check if it was a mistake and should have gone to Jamal Crawford, who finished second. After all, accounting firm Ernst & Young, which handles the balloting, screwed up last year’s voting for Most Improved Player, giving a vote for Andrew Bynum to Andrew Bogut.
But I was assured by an NBA PR type that someone did, in fact, vote for Jordan Crawford. Whoever did should be good and ashamed.
Two third-place votes for Ramon Sessions? Yeah, that’s a good choice. The Bobcats probably would have lost 65 games without his invaluable contributions. And then they would have the inside track to the top pick in the draft.
A third-place vote for Luke Babbitt? Luke Babbitt? He averaged 3.9 points per game, fourth-best among reserves on the Blazers, who had the worst bench in the NBA. A bleeping embarrassment.
A third-place vote for J.J. Redick? He averaged 15.1 points for the Magic, who lost 28 of 31 games during one stretch while he was there. After he was traded to a team that had some real NBA players, he averaged 12.3 points and shot 40 percent from the field. His dropoff was so bad that the Bucks went from making the best deal at the deadline to getting hosed for Tobias Harris.
There are a lot of folks out there who know more about the NBA than me. But I do know this: The Sixth Man Award should go to a guy on a winning team. Not a guy who does nothing but score points for a bad team. Not a guy who picks up the bar tab when you’re on the road. And certainly not Luke Babbitt.
We all have a brain, a heart and a rectum. Please remember what each are used for.