Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been named the winner of the 2021-22 NBA Hustle Award, the league announced today. Smart becomes the first two-time winner of the Hustle Award after first earning the honor following the 2018-19 season.
The Hustle Award, which debuted in 2016-17, rewards players that do the little things that don’t often show up in the traditional box score but have been tracked since the NBA debuted its Hustle Stats during the 2016 postseason. Hustle stats include deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn, screen assists, contested shots and box-outs.
Shams Charania: 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive teams: First team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart Second team: Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Matisse Thybulle, Robert Williams III
Bobby Marks: Robert Williams has a $223,215 bonus as part of his rookie extension. However, because Williams is still in the fourth year of his rookie scale contract, the bonus is not earned. The bonus is now deemed likely and his cap hit for 2022-23 is adjusted to $10,937,502.
Andrew Lopez: NBA All-Rookie teams First: Scottie Barnes Cade Cunningham Jalen Green Evan Mobley Franz Wagner Second: Ayo Dosunmu Chris Durate Josh Giddey Bones Hyland Herb Jones
The NBA announced the five finalists Monday for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award. Reggie Bullock (Dallas Mavericks), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies), Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), and Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors) were chosen by a selection committee from a pool of team nominees.
According to the league, the award "recognizes a current NBA player for pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar's life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged."
Memphis Grizzlies EVP of Basketball Operations and General Manager Zachary Z. Kleiman has been selected as the winner of the 2021-22 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the NBA announced today. “This is an organizational honor,” said Kleiman. “I wouldn’t be in this position without Robert (Pera)’s vision and support, and I’m grateful to be pursuing NBA championships in Memphis with such a driven and competitive group of players and staff. Thank you to my peers for this recognition.”
Kleiman received 16 of the 29 first-place votes and 85 total points from a voting panel of team executives across the NBA. Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. Kleiman, 33, is the youngest recipient of the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, which has been presented annually since the 1972-73 season. He also becomes the second person to earn the honor with the Grizzlies, joining Jerry West (2003-04).
Andrew Greif: Say hello to the new Larry O'Brien Trophy. Via @nba and redesigned by LA-based Victor Solomon. pic.twitter.com/MZ7JgrF7gN
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.
June 30, 2022 | 9:42 am EDT Update
Jake Fischer on PJ Tucker going to Philadelphia: ‘I’ve heard Joel Embiid is on board, … also PJ’s agent resides in Philly. There’s one thing that I know for sure. He has wanted to get paid. He has been a journeyman in this league for years and years and years and years, a mercenary role player on all these contending teams. To my knowledge, I don’t think he’s made over 10 million a year. He’s wanted a double digit salary.
Jake Fischer: ‘Kyrie Irving definitely was considering taking the taxpayer mid-level exception to play for the Lakers before he opted in. That’s just the truth. He was definitely talking about it with people in his circle. And people on the league, we’re talking about that reality, because that was the only way for him to get to the Lakers this season.
The Lakers have a strong interest in retaining Monk, but it will depend on both his market and the quality of 3-and-D wings available to Los Angeles, according to league sources. Players the Lakers will target with their full taxpayer midlevel exception include Otto Porter Jr., Nicolas Batum, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren, Caleb Martin, Cody Martin, Mo Bamba and Danuel House Jr., according to multiple league sources. Players the Lakers will be interested in for the partial midlevel exception or minimum contracts include Nemanja Bjelica, Jeremy Lamb, Jevon Carter and Juan Toscano-Anderson, according to league sources.
Brittney Griner’s trial for allegedly taking hashish oil into Russia is scheduled to begin Friday. At that point it will have been 134 days since the WNBA star was taken into custody while trying to enter the country through a Moscow-area airport. She faces 10 years in prison if convicted. But before the trial even begins, U.S. experts and officials say Griner will be the subject of a show trial, and a guilty verdict is almost a certainty. The entire exercise, they say, is a negotiation tactic to push the Biden administration into trading for her freedom. “It’s a foregone conclusion and the trial is to uphold the state and confirm the power of the state,” says William Pomeranz, the acting director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute in Washington, D.C., and an expert on Russian law. “Justice is not the immediate issue.”
Sources close to Griner declined to say how she intends to plead, but experts say that with no chance of acquittal it would make strategic sense to just plead guilty now. That might cause headaches for the U.S. State Department and the White House, but it could make Griner’s life more bearable, and a deal to go home more likely.
June 30, 2022 | 9:08 am EDT Update
Jake Fischer: Sounds like Isaiah Hartenstein has another suitor: the New York Knicks. No guest, just taking your questions on @getcallin at 4pmET, to help set the table one last time before the free agency horn blares. Make sure to create an account and tune in: callin.com/link/EaFCnvABtD