Bernucca: Which Warriors Get Our Season-Ending Awards?

Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are about to complete the best regular season in NBA history. The Warriors are going to win 73 games, one more than the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. Even Warriors coach Steve Kerr, a reserve on that Bulls squad and one of the great winners in league annals, is blown away by his team’s accomplishment. “I never imagined when I was with the Bulls anyone would ever come close,” he said. “We’re close.” [Read more…]

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Hubbard: Rethinking the Most Improved Player Award: Is Curry Deserving?

Curry7

The Most Improved Player Award did not irritate me until the seventh year it was awarded. That was in the 1991-92 season when Pervis Ellison won it. Three years earlier, Ellison was the No. 1 pick in the draft. To reward him as the most improved because he played well after underachieving for two years seemed to violate the spirit of the award. He was supposed to be good! In his defense, Ellison was bothered by injuries, but while he was

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Kawhi Leonard is ‘Quiet’ Candidate

Kawhi

Loud people may not understand this column. But as Rocky Balboa once pontificated, there is such a thing as “the disease of being shy.” It’s a tough thing, really. You can’t easily overcome shyness, and it doesn’t really go away over time. Shy people don’t always get everything they deserve, because non-shy people often mistake their shyness for docility or indifference. In our extrovert-dominant, squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease society, being quiet can hurt you. You don’t see a ton of shy people winning Academy Awards, or running for President,

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Most Improved Player Rankings: It’s Not LeBron’s League Anymore

LeBron

The two aging giants came together at center court, a herd of national TV cameras surrounding them like those crazy, suicidal fish that swim alongside sharks and somehow get away with it. (Nature is weird, man). They embraced, in that bro-hug type of way players do, and shared a few words of mutual respect before going their separate ways, Kobe Bryant toward the ruthlessly dimming twilight of his career and LeBron James out of the visitor’s locker room at Staples Center,

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Most Improved Rankings: Who’s the Least Improved?

Kels1

This column is soft. Every other week, we talk about the Most Improved Players in the league like we’re a modern-day Little League. We’re always telling everyone how great they are and giving them Fruit Roll-Ups, and letting them draw dinosaurs in the infield dirt during the game because they’re just creative and artistic and they’ll grow out of it and “everybody gets a trophy because look at how much you’ve improved!” Well, I’m sick of it. It’s time to come down hard on

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Bernucca: Handing Out My Midseason Awards

Curry

This is the time of year when we give out our midseason awards. But before we get to the drudgery of Sixth Man Award and Most Valuable Player, let’s start the festivities with a special award for individual achievement that goes to Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn is a shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks and the second-youngest player in the NBA. He is one of the dozens of rookies who have made virtually no impact in their first season. He is averaging 2.5 points

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Most Improved Player Rankings: A Tribute to Ish Smith

Ish-Smith

This man’s greatness inspired a poem. I’d like to start this column off by paying tribute to a true basketball hero. I couldn’t express his greatness in column form, so I wrote a poem. I hope you’ll oblige. Dim the lights please. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhem. Ahhhem. Ahhhhh. Here we go: (Bongos playing) Dreary. Locker room smell. Sweaty socks. He walks in, authoritative. A Pelican no more. Scored 14 points in first game back. Tripled win total. There’s now hope where the bell tolls. Hope, and hoagies. (Bongos stop) Thank you. [Read more…]

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Most Improved Player Rankings: Why winning the award might not be a compliment

CJ McCollum

Usually, people like awards. They’re shiny and sometimes gold. You get to keep them and hang them on your wall, and then “accidentally” bump into them when your grandma comes over, so she can say “Careful!” and then “Ooh, what’s that?,” and you can tell her about how awesome you are. Sometimes, you get to stand up in front of other people and give speeches when you win an award. You can say motivational things like, “You the Real MVP!” and get moved to

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