Awards Rumors

Dallas Mavericks small forward Luka Doncic has been named Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Breakout of the Year. And DallasBasketball.com asked the Mavs young standout about his reaction to the honor. “When I heard about it I was happy, it was something special,” Doncic told DallasBasketball.com. “I appreciate everyone from ‘Sports Illustrated’ awarding that to me. It’s something that motivates me and I want to keep it going.”
The campaigning has begun. “I think he can and will win defensive player of the year this year,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I think there’s no one in the league like him defensively.” “He came off the floor saying first-team all- defense and I was telling him, no, no. Player of the year,” Alex Caruso said. “I got him as MVP and defensive player of the year,” Rajon Rondo said. “It’s not hard when you’re the defensive player of the year,” LeBron James said, grinning, when asked about a play when Davis closed out on a three-point shooter as he faked, then blocked his shot anyway.
The feel-good storyline to start off the week was Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony being named Western Conference Player of the Week following his sixth game of the season after being out of the league for over a year. But the honor didn’t come without scorn with many contending that Houston Rockets star James Harden and Dallas Mavericks young star Luka Doncic were more deserving candidates.
“I’ve seen the chatter, but I won’t allow myself to pay attention to that because I’ve come too far to start listening to that bull—-, to be honest with you,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports. “I won’t allow that negativity to creep in. I’ve worked so hard to get to that point mentally and emotionally. I won’t even let it happen.”
The league office decides its weekly honorees based on games from Monday to Sunday. So Harden was only credited with two games last week because he faced the Mavs on the previous week’s Sunday, which is why he wasn’t the top candidate, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The league seldom awards a player who played in just two games for the week, a league source told Yahoo Sports. Portland’s 3-0 week is what gave Anthony the edge over Doncic, sources told Yahoo Sports.