The first question – Did the NBA forget about Rookie of the Year? – was answered yesterday. No.
The second question – did Karl-Anthony Towns win unanimously? – was answered today. Yes.
Towns took all 130 first-place votes to become the sixth player to win a major NBA award unanimously, joining Rookies of the Year Damian Lillard (2013), Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990) and Ralph Sampson (1984) and 2016 MVP Stephen Curry.
Here’s the full voting with player, team (first-place votes, second-place votes, third-place votes, points):
- Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota (130-0-0-650)
- Kristaps Porzingis, New York (0-117-12-363)
- Nikola Jokic, Denver (0-7-38-59)
- Devin Booker, Phoenix (0-3-40-49)
- Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia (0-3-25-34)
- Justise Winslow, Miami (0-0-7-7)
- Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver (0-0-4-4)
- Myles Turner, Indiana (0-0-3-3)
- D’Angelo Russell, L.A. Lakers (0-0-1-1)
- The Timberwolves – whose Andrew Wiggins won last season – are the fifth team with back-to-back Rookies of the Year. The Buffalo Braves had Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio in 1973 and 1974. The Portland Trail Blazers had Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks in 1971 and 1972. The Baltimore Bullets had Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld in 1968 and 1969. And the Chicago Packers/Zephyrs had Walt Bellamy and Terry Dischinger in 1962 and 1963.
- Porzingis cleaned up on second-place votes, taking 117 of 130. I would’ve picked Jokic, who finished third, but Porzingis is a fine – and very predictable – second-place finisher.
- Only one voter, Tim Kempton of KTAR Radio, left Porzingis off his ballot. Kempton ranked Jokic second and Booker third.
- Jokic – the No. 41 pick in the 2014 draft – was the only vote-getter not chosen in the 2015 lottery.
The Warriors won Game 5 – and the series – against the Trail Blazers, but they lost Andrew Bogut to a strained adductor.
Will the center return for Game 1 of the conference finals against the Thunder tonight?
Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:
Though the Warriors did not scrimmage on Sunday, center Andrew Bogut rejoined his teammates for practice, his first activity since the Game 5 win over Portland last Wednesday.
Bogut’s status for Game 1 Monday night against Oklahoma City remains uncertain, with coach Steve Kerr indicating a decision will be made after Bogut’s pregame workout Monday afternoon.
“We got up and down the floor a little bit with some drill work and he did everything,” Kerr said. “I would just say he’s questionable for (Monday). He’s got to go through his warmup before the game and we’ll see.
“It was encouraging today just to get him on the floor. And there were no setbacks.”
Kerr has said Festus Ezeli will start if Bogut can’t play.
Bogut’s absence would be felt. He’s a solid defender who can body up Steven Adams and Enes Kanter inside. Ezeli is also capable, but Bogut starts for a reason.
The Warriors should be alright regardless, though. Their most effective center remains Draymond Green, even if he can’t handle the position full-time. Golden State should use him at center as necessary then as much as possible. Green will be key to combating Oklahoma City’s two-center lineup.
Marreese Speights provides even more depth at center.
Bogut might just be a luxury for the Warriors, though one they’re used to having and surely want back as quickly as possible.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he’d beat Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a presidential election.
So, with many Republicans dreading a Trump-Clinton race, Cuban was considered as a third-party candidate.
Philip Rucker and Robert Costa of The Washington Post:
The recruiters also delved into the world of reality television for someone who might out-Trump Trump: Mark Cuban, the brash billionaire businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team.
Again and again, though, these anti-Trump Republicans have heard the same tepid response: Thanks, but no thanks.
“I don’t see it happening,” Cuban wrote in an email.
Cuban, who hosts “Shark Tank,” the ABC reality series in which entrepreneurs pitch investors about their business ideas, said his pursuers — he declined to name them — have told him his “bluster and volume, combined with substance and the ability to connect with voters on a more personal basis,” could make him a winning candidate.
“He could come after me all he wanted, and he knows I would put him in his place,” Cuban said of Trump. “All that said, again, I don’t see it happening. There isn’t enough time.”
Why would Cuban run? He called Trump “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time.”
The Trail Blazers are reportedly set to negotiate a contract extension for Terry Stotts.
How’s that going?
Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times:
This would be strange, to say the least.
Stotts just completed a masterful season, finishing second in Coach of the Year voting. (I think he should’ve won.) Stotts integrated four new starters on a much younger team and guided Portland to the second round of the playoffs.
He deserves a raise – and I still think he’ll get one. This strikes me as a negotiating ploy.
But by whom?
The Trail Blazers reportedly have a team option on Stotts for next season that they’ve yet to execute. Are they threatening to decline it?
Is Stotts threatening to walk? He might not be allowed to coach another team, but Portland can’t force him to work.
This is a strange development, especially considering Stotts and Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey share an agent. Again, I still think Stotts will get a contract extension in Portland.
But there’s a little more reason for doubt.
Jeff Van Gundy has been described as the favorite and co-favorite for the Rockets head-coaching job, and the other co-favorite – Scott Brooks – was hired by the Wizards
When will Houston wrap up this search?
Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times:
The Rockets were smart to do their due diligence, but they know Van Gundy – who coached Houston from 2003-07 – and seem to like him. At this point, what would stop his momentum?