As we gather together once more in this special column space, we can’t help but daydream about the beautiful matrimony between man and award.
It’s wedding season (I don’t know if that’s true or not), so we thought it would be interesting to explore some of the similarities between “sixth men” and best men.
It’s not just because they both have the word “man” in them. OK, maybe it is.
But still, there are a lot of similarities. As a best man, the wedding isn’t really about you, but you have a big role in its success. You have to hand off the ring, make sure you don’t drop it, make a speech, and do all of the crazy wedding party stuff that the bride makes you do.
As a sixth man, it’s not really about you, either. The starters get the fancy introductions, the big contracts, the playing time on NBA 2K16. But you do play a critical role in your team’s success (just look at last year’s Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala, who began the series coming off the bench).
So, which of this year’s Sixth Man candidates would you want as the best man in your wedding? Which would produce lifelong memories for you and your family, and which would end up burning your house down like Dupree in “You, Me and Dupree”?
Let’s take a look:
Will Barton: Probably wouldn’t show up until the fourth quarter (i.e.-reception) but would put on the most dope karaoke performance ever, singing and rapping everything from Billy Joel to Mac Miller. You’d wonder why you don’t hang out with him more. Everyone would start chanting, “Will the Thrill!” “Will the Thrill!” and he would call himself that from then on, even though you hadn’t used that nickname with him since fifth grade.
Darren Collison: Things would be so crazy at work for him that he’d be all over the place at the wedding. Is his boss getting fired? Is his boss’ boss getting fired? Some dude from accounting just got fired for no reason. He’d be solid throughout the rehearsal process but would make one boneheaded mistake–like forgetting the ring–and it might ruin the wedding. The lesson here, folks? Never invite anyone remotely associated with the Sacramento Kings to your wedding. Or anywhere else, really.
Jeremy Lin: Would make an incredible five-minute speech that had everyone laughing and crying and then laughing again. Guests would think he’s awesome and would want to be like him, but as the reception gets going, he’d revert back to making awkward conversation with everyone.
Realizing that he’d never again be able to capture the magic of that speech, he’d just start getting drunk at the open bar, eventually deciding he wanted to make a comeback. He’d take one of the wigs from the photo booth and would start wearing it around, giving people the finger-gun and the point-and-wink. It wouldn’t work.
Enes Kanter: His suit would cost wayyy too much, and you’d have to pay for him to fly in from Utah, where he used to work. His speech would be decent, and he’d touch on a lot of great subjects, but he’d fall just short of it being great, and you wouldn’t really be sure why. Your other tall friends would steal the show.
Victor Oladipo: He’d be your best buddy from work that you’re not really sure has known you long enough to earn the title of best man, but he’s hilarious and your soon-to-be in-laws love him, so you go with it and he doesn’t disappoint.
So, there you have it. That was fun, right?
Now it’s time for those four words everyone gathered to hear.
On to the rankings:
1. Will Barton, F, Denver Nuggets: The best man for this award (see what I did there) appears to be in cruise control, averaging 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He put up 20 and 8 boards in the Nuggs’ win over the Mavs on Sunday. Ever since we first met Barton, we knew he’d be the man for Marcia. (Sorry, sometimes I refer to the Sixth Man award as Marcia).
2. Darren Collison, G, Sacramento Kings: Collison has been Ricky Bobby-levels of on fire since the beginning of February, shooting over 57% from the field. He’s also dishing out 3.3 assists per game in that time. He still makes the occasional boneheaded play that gets Kings fans riled up, but for the most part, he’s been pretty consistent as Rajon Rondo’s backup/sidekick this year.
3. Enes Kanter, F/C, Oklahoma City Thunder: He’s gotten better as the season has gone along, and showed that in an 11-for-11 performance (23 points) against the Kings on February 29. He also put up 18 points and 12 rebounds in a 104-96 win over the Bucks on Sunday. Kanter should rebound the ball more than he does (7.5 per) given his size, but some of that has to do with his inconsistent minutes.
4. Jeremy Lin, G, Charlotte Hornets: He’s rallying now, the wig is working a little bit and people are starting to realize that this guy actually isn’t bad. He’s putting up 11.7 points, 3.1 assists and 3.1 boards in 26 minutes in Charlotte. His defense (which is what put him on the bench in Houston) has improved, too.
5. Victor Oladipo, G, Orlando Magic: He still hasn’t come off the bench enough to qualify for the award, but if that changes, he’d be right back in the hunt. Oladipo had 28 and 4 steals against the Sixers, and put up 19 points, 9 boards and 8 assists in Orlando’s close loss at Golden State on Monday.
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