NBA Rumor: Awards Media Vote

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Any ole yokel can take a screenshot of an awards ballot and dunk on an unsuspecting media member. But The F5 holds itself to a marginally higher standard. So over the last few days, I combed through every NBA awards ballot to mathematically rank media members by how far their votes deviated from the consensus. The math that goes into the formula for ranking voters is straight forward, but extremely dull. In short, I calculated how many standard deviations each voter’s ballot is from the consensus ballot. If you’re interested in reading the full methodology, check the footnotes1.

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Ultimately, Haupt’s MVP ballot is what pushed him so far out to right on the contrarian scale. To begin, he gave Luka Doncic a second-place vote when no one else gave him anything higher than a fourth-place vote. Additionally, he was one of only five voters to give Stephen Curry a first-place vote and the only voter to omit Nikola Jokic entirely from his MVP ballot. Instead of putting Jokic on his MVP ballot, Haupt made the objectively unique choice of giving Russell Westbrook and Ben Simmons a third- and fourth-place MVP vote, respectively.

I’ve done this analysis for the past three seasons and one of the reoccurring trends has been that female media members tend to score lower on the contrarianism scale than male voters. I think part of that has to do with the fact that female media members are more likely to be the subject of ad hominem attacks and unfair criticism from fans for casting an unconventional ballot. So perhaps out of self-preservation, female voters tend to make fewer controversial choices than male voters do. Of the 13 female media members that voted on this year’s awards, only two (The Ringer’s Seerat Sohi and ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne) ranked in the top 50 in terms of contrarianism.
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Juan Hernangomez at odds with Timberwolves

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