Stefan Bondy: The NBA is introducing six new trophies. The Larry Bird Trophy and Magic Johnson Trophy awarded to Eastern and Western Conference Finals MVPs; Eastern and Western Conference Champion Trophies Named After Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson. pic.twitter.com/xjHFVggbsV
The Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was waiting to hug him as well as the President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly. "It's amazing, my horse and I were doing a fast workout in the afternoon instead of the morning and I was wondering why," Jokic said in an MVP interview from the stable. "I came back in the stable, and everybody was here. Actually, I saw my godfather's car on the track and I thought, 'what is he doing here?'
And I saw everybody in the shirts. It was really emotional, a really emotional moment for me. Nobody came here before. It's actually an amazing thing that everyone came here; it's once in a lifetime."
Ohm Youngmisuk: Asked if he considers himself a long shot who won MVP, Jokic agreed while sitting in front of a horse and stable in the middle of the night: “If it’s not me, who is it. I’m coming from this city (Sombor)… from this stable basically.”
Jorge Sierra: LeBron James has received MVP votes in 19 different seasons. That's two more than Kareem and six more than MJ. Just an FYI.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. This is the second Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Jokić, who also earned the honor last season. He becomes the 13th player to win the award in consecutive seasons, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Moses Malone, Steve Nash and Bill Russell.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid finished in second place with 706 points (26 first-place votes). Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished in third place with 595 points (nine first-place votes), followed by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in fourth place with 216 points and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić in fifth place with 146 points.
This is the first time that both the top three and four of the top five finishers in voting for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award are international players, with Jokić (Serbia), Embiid (Cameroon) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) comprising the top three and Dončić (Slovenia) joining them in the top five.
Katy Winge: A Sombor Surprise 🥺 Josh Kroenke, Tim Connelly, Coach Malone, Felipe (head strength and conditioning coach), Oggy (director of player development), all made the trip to Sombor to deliver Nikola Jokic his MVP award. You could see it in the video, Joker was emotional.
Jared Weiss: Ime Udoka on finishing 4th in coach of the year voting after bad start to season: “Personally for me, it’s whatever. Honestly. But for the team it means we did well and made some strides.” As he’s walking off stage: “If you’re not first, you’re last!”
Michael Singer: Source: Nikola Jokic’s official MVP announcement will come tonight ahead of TNT’s broadcast. Tune in at 4:30 MT. Announcement will come at the top of the broadcast.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today. This is the first NBA Coach of the Year Award for Williams, who joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as head coaches to earn the honor with the Suns.
Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes). Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished in third place with 72 points (one first-place vote). Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote
Law Murray: Monty Williams with the most wins in a season by a Coach of the Year since Mike Brown went 66-16 with the 2009 Cavaliers. 2022 Suns went 64-18 this season
Gerald Bourguet: Monty Williams said he found out he had won Coach of the Year after his players and his family already knew "It was a pretty cool moment, and obviously just grateful to be able to share that with everybody that I work with every single day and a few of my family members."
Devin Booker: Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has been voted the NBA’s COY, book tells sources. A formal announcement is expected later today.
Shams Charania: Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has won the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year award, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Williams led the franchise to an NBA-best 64-18 record this season.
LeBron James: JA so damn tough!!!! There's no way Ja should even have been in MIP talks. This guy is a flat out ?? and always have been!! Real basketball ??s know. Not the majority of dweebs who don't even watch basketball on those voting ballots.
Michael Scotto: Tyler Herro is the first player to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Miami Heat. He became the fifth player to average 20 or more points off the bench in a minimum 50 games as a reserve joining Thurl Bailey, Eddie Johnson, Ricky Pierce and Lou Williams.
Kevin Love: Everyone who knows me knows I love Tyler Herro’s game (and swag) - much respect on an incredible 6th man campaign. Best is yet to come for @Tyler Herro
Shams Charania: Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has won the 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.
Mike Vorkunov: If Nikola Jokic wins his 2nd MVP he has an idea of how he'll celebrate: "Probably some music. Beer. Friends around. Family. Like how you're supposed to do, probably."
Draymond Green posted the audio clip and responded to Simmons. Green was not only upset at Simmons’s comments, he also wanted the NBA to take notice that someone who shares this kind of opinion shouldn’t have a vote on NBA honors like the All-Rookie teams. Honors like MVP and Defensive Player of the Year can impact contract stipulations for players, and these awards are voted on by the media. “How is it that this guy has a voice in deciding if Jalen Green will qualify for a super max deal?” Green wrote on Instagram. “He clearly says F Him, which sounds very personal btw. But he has a say in what someone earns? What work has he done in this life that qualifies him to have a say in an NBA players salary? @NBA.”
Warriors forward Draymond Green has never been shy when calling people out, and that still rings true in the middle of a playoff series. The three-time NBA champion criticized The Ringer founder Bill Simmons on his Instagram story Wednesday for what Simmons said about Rockets rookie Jalen Green. During an April 13 episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons had some harsh words for the Houston guard when comparing him to Pelicans rookie Herbert Jones. “And I put [Jones] first-team all-rookie. I put him over Jalen Green,” Simmons said. “F--- Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I'm sorry, I like winning players."
Aiyaan: Draymond Green speaking about the Bill Simmons comments on Jalen Green. Via IG #Rockets Dray a real one
JD Shaw: Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has won the 2021-22 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, the NBA announced today.
This is the second Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award for Holiday, who also earned the honor in the 2019-20 season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. He is the first player to win the award more than once.
Holiday received 964 points (39 first-place votes) in balloting of NBA players. Marjanović finished in second place with 936 points (48 first-place votes). DeRozan finished in third place with 898 points (34 first-place votes). Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
Meghan Triplett: When Ja Morant was asked "what's next" now that he has won Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player, Ja said, "well...I'm not a finalist for you know MVP. That's definitely on my list..." Morant then added, "being a champion and potentially a Finals MVP" as well.
Drew Hill: Ja Morant on the moment he got the MIP award from the team: “You could just see the joy in everybody’s faces celebrating my success. It just shows what kind of team this is and how happy we are for each other. That’s pretty much all that matters – that my guys are proud of me.”
Will Guillory: CJ McCollum on Herb Jones: "He'll be First-Team All-Defense once they start watching Pelicans games."
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse on Scottie ROY: “That’s a big award. That one of the biggies.” On learning the news from the Vince Carter video at practice yesterday: “It was a good moment to share as a team because being down 3-0 there wasn’t a lot of great moments to think about. That was a good boost”
Keith Pompey: Scottie Barnes learns from Vince Carter that he was named Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/C7GSBpaf9a
Shams Charania: Toronto Raptors‘ Scottie Barnes has won the 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has some strong thoughts about a system in which members of the media vote on the NBA's top awards. Green said on his podcast Wednesday that it's "absolutely disgusting" the media determines the league's individual honors. "I think when you look at voting for All-NBA, when you look at voting for Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, MVP, ultimately these things are voting on by the media, which I think is absolutely disgusting," he said at the 4:40 mark. "Because these are human beings that could have personal issues against guys because that does happen."
Mark Medina: Draymond Green on the DPOY award: "I'm extremely happy for Marcus Smart. That's a guy I respect as a defender. Well deserved."
Jay King: Marcus Smart said he thinks one day Robert Williams will be in his position as the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Connor Letourneau: Kerr said he thinks Draymond Green didn't get more love in DPOY just because he didn't play more games. "He was on course to win the award, for sure. The injury unfortunately derailed that."
JD Shaw: Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been named the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league just announced.
Gary Washburn: #Celtics Marcus Smart becomes the first G since Gary Payton to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Jeff Zillgitt: Boston's Marcus Smart (257 points) named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Phoenix's Mikal Bridges (202) second, Utah's Rudy Gobert (136) third and Miami's Bam Adebayo (128) fourth.
Mikal Bridges: Congrats to Marcus Smart fr ! Happy they start realizing it aint easy guarding mfs on the island every night ! Very much deserved … I appreciate everybody that was rockin wit me lol we’ll be ok😭 its a blessing to even be apart of the convo
Eric Walden: Quin Snyder on DPOY results: “First off, congratulations to Marcus. He’s a terrific defender. … (Rudy Gobert) is someone who will continue to contend for that award. Maybe Rudy will win Defensive Player of the Playoffs.”
CJ Holmes: I asked Jordan Poole about not being named a finalist for Most Improved Player: “It is what it is.” Sure he would’ve liked to win the award, but that’s not his focus right now.
Mark Haynes: Steve Kerr didn't know Jordan Poole wasn't a finalist for the MIP award. “JP, that's shocking to me. I didn't know that...They all are worthy candidates, but I think Jordan should be in there.”
Eddie Sefko: Donovan Mitchell on Rudy Gobert being a finalist for DPOY: “Are you surprised? I’m not.” Added that Gobert had a huge impact on game 1 with only one shot from the field.
Barry Jackson: Spoelstra, on Bam not being a defensive player of year finalist: "I'm really stunned. I don't know what people are watching"
Keith Smith: Marcus Smart on being a Defensive Player of the Year nominee: "I think I have a chance to win, and it's an honor to even be mentioned. But, honestly, I'm playing for something bigger. My focus is on Wednesday."
Ira Winderman: Bam Adebayo NOT a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. It's Rudy Gobert, Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges.
This award was separated by the thinnest of margins, with Marcus Smart edging Mikal Bridges by three total points, according to the ballots collected by HoopsHype. If Smart wins the award, he’d be the first guard to win this category since Gary Payton in 1996.
Cade Cunningham: I think I should be Rookie of the Year because of all the things I’ve been able to do for my team this year. I feel like I helped my team in a lot of different ways that may not have always turned out to be wins. If you watch my game, and watch the way that I play, you could appreciate all the things that I do on the floor. What makes me the Rookie of the Year is me being able to do so many things at such a high level.
Omari Sanfoka II: Cade on his RoTY resume: "I think I made a strong case for it. I had some big moments this year that will show that I feel like I’m the best rookie this year, and there’s other guys that have had big moments as well."
Marc J. Spears: Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green and Toronto Raptors guard/forward Scottie Barnes have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March and April.
Mikal Bridges, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports, wants voters to dig deeper. “I would never discredit anybody, and obviously bigs have been winning that award for a while and they do a hell of a job, but the amount of times a big has won over a guard is just crazy,” Bridges told Yahoo Sports. “I think people take it for granted how tough it is to guard the top perimeter players in this league and not be able to really touch them because they’re going to get the foul call. I feel like as a defender on the perimeter, you just get disrespected. I’m not even talking about me personally, but I don’t understand how guards in general don’t win it. These guards are shooting off ball screens, they get isos with the offense spaced out and a lot of shooters on the court. You’ve got to guard these matchups one-on-one, and I think we just get taken for granted.”
Golden State Warriors defensive star Draymond Green said Bridges would be his choice for DPOY. “That was so dope to hear that from Draymond,” Bridges said of Green. “Obviously with everything he does on the court, he understands how tough it is to guard a dude on ball. I just wish the voters would actually watch the games. But I can only control what I can control.”
It’s been 26 years since a guard was awarded the hardware. Hall of Famer Gary Payton was the last guard to receive it in 1996. “I’m telling you, again, I’ll never discredit none of the bigs, but they don’t have the matchups we have to face,” Bridges told Yahoo Sports. “There are not as many talented bigs in the league as there are talented wing players and guards. Guarding one through four is tough. If you want to do the math, look up how many skilled players are one through four, and then how many skilled players are at the five. Obviously, you have a lot of talented fives, but out of all 30 teams, not every big on the team is very skilled. That’s just how I look at it.
Cody Taylor: Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 24 of the 2021-22 season (March 28 - April 3).
Chris Kirschner: Some All-NBA ballot stuff: DeMar DeRozan eligible at forward and guard Luka Doncic eligible at forward and guard Jayson Tatum eligible at forward and guard LeBron eligible at forward and guard Jokic/Embiid eligible at forward and center
Cody Taylor: Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum have been named the NBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for Week 23 of the 2021-22 season (March 21-27).
Finch currently has the Wolves sitting at 42-31 and in seventh place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets and the coveted sixth spot in the standings, which means avoiding the play-in tournament and having several extra days to rest before starting the postseason. They are 1.5-point home underdogs against the West-leading Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, according to MaximBet.
“I haven’t really thought about it a lot, but my personal choice would be Taylor Jenkins of Memphis because of what they have done in terms of exceeding expectations,” Finch told Maxim.com in a phone interview. “The benchmark is pretty much where Vegas had you at preseason, and we’ve already accomplished that.”
The 2021-2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year race is a mess. The “short” list of candidates includes at least six players (listed alphabetically): Bam Adebayo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart, Robert Williams. Several others (Mikal Bridges, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green, Evan Mobley and Matisse Thybulle among others) should be considered as well. Why is the field so vast?
Individual defense is always hard to measure, whether via metrics or qualitative evaluation. Aside from rim-protection stats, numbers measuring individual defensive contributions can be a little rough. Additionally, with the complexity of modern defenses and length of the schedule, it is too much to ask of anyone to have watched enough of the candidates in sufficient detail to have more than a general idea of a player’s consistency of execution or his level of responsibility for his team’s level of defensive success. On top of these “every year” problems, this season has thrown up a few more wrinkles.
Some of Gobert’s defensive metrics are still quite robust. He’s sixth in defensive Estimated Plus Minus (dEPM) among players with at least 20 MPG. However, a closer look reveals that these metrics might be getting propped up via box-score inputs. Gobert is still blocking shots at a high clip and is leading the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage, stats which tend to cause some advanced plus/minus models to attribute the bulk of any success Utah has had defensively to Gobert.
However, a look at non-box score informed metrics like RAPM, suggests the possibility of some diminution in his impact. Gobert has finished in the top 20 in Luck Adjusted DRAPM (which attempts to rectify shooting variance by smoothing out variations in opposing free throw and 3-point shooting upon which teams, let alone individuals, generally don’t have much impact) in each of the seven seasons prior to this one, including five seasons in the top six. He sits 36th today. The result could plausibly be the result of variance or statistical noise, but it just as likely suggests he hasn’t been quite as good.
Boston has the NBA’s best defense, though which player should get sufficient credit to be recognized as the best defender in the league this year? Six of the Celtics’ top seven (Smart, Williams, White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford) players rate in the 84th percentile or higher in dEPM. Smart’s candidacy is hurt by the fact that it’s been so long since a guard won the award that I’m not sure we would recognize what DPOY-level guard play even looked like. As Smart himself put it, those are the rules…
July 1, 2022 | 8:21 pm EDT Update
The Jazz sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in a deal that netted Utah four future first-round picks and 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler, per ESPN. Reports from The Athletic and ESPN stated that Utah has no plans to trade Mitchell and would retool its roster around Donovan Mitchell. But there is some skepticism about Utah’s long-term plans in the wake of the Gobert trade. Several teams still view Mitchell as attainable for the right return.
People in touch with the Knicks prior to the draft said the club was wary of trading the combination of picks and players that it would take to land a player like Mitchell. The thinking, according to people in touch with the club at the time, was that there wouldn’t be enough left on the roster to field a contending team.
If Utah decides to trade Mitchell, Miami is certainly a team to watch. The Heat’s situation is complicated by the club’s pursuit of Kevin Durant (according to a source, several people were lobbying Durant on behalf of Miami on Thursday and Friday in the wake of his trade request out of Brooklyn).