Luol Deng won last year’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which honors “outstanding service and dedication to the community.”
This year, Tobias Harris, Greg Monroe, Joakim Noah, Chris Paul or Zach Randolph will claim the honor.
This might be harder to pick than MVP.
By all accounts, these finalists do outstanding work in their community. But it’s difficult – maybe impossible – for writers to assess who did the most this year, because so much of the work happens behind the scenes.
There are a lot of NBA players doing good in the world, and that’s important. It’s nice to honor one for going above and beyond. Good luck to everyone voting in determining whom that should be.
Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons is second in the league in rebounding behind the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, but he did something in March that Jordan has yet to accomplish.
In fact, no player besides Drummond in the past 17 years has done what he did, in terms of amassing a high number of both offensive and defensive rebounds in a single month.
From ESPN.com (via Bleacher Report):
From Elias: Andre Drummond pulled down 13 rebounds in the Pistons’ victory over the Hawks – six on offense and seven on defense. That gave Drummond 102 offensive rebounds and 122 defensive rebounds this March. The only other 100/100 calendar month of that kind in the NBA over the last 17 seasons was by Drummond himself in December 2013 (102/119). Aside from Drummond, the last NBA player to record at least 100 rebounds on each side of the court in a calendar month was Jayson Williams for the Nets in January 1998.
Often times feats like these can seem arbitrary, especially when setting nice round numbers like 100 as a threshold to surpass. But Drummond’s ability to haul down so many rebounds on the offensive floor is impressive, and something which deserves to be noticed.
Drummond leads the league in total number of offensive rebounds, and has grabbed 34 more than Jordan has, while playing in one fewer game and averaging 4.2 fewer minutes per contest on the season.
The Knicks will finally be able to hit the reset button this summer. With a likely top-three draft pick and a ton of cap space, they’ll not only have a premier young talent coming in to join a (theoretically) healthy Carmelo Anthony next season, but also plenty of space to add more pieces.
It’s highly unlikely that Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, the two biggest stars on the market, leave their current, favorable situations to join the Knicks, but there are plenty of other options that might actually make more sense, in addition to being more realistic.
From The Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
The Knicks will make their pass at Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, and likely at Rajon Rondo and/or Goran Dragic, too, but expect them to be aggressive in pursuing as many young free agents as possible. Jackson does not want to build a team around players in their early 30s. That means Reggie Jackson, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight will factor prominently on the Knicks’ radar as the team looks to avoid its long-standing habit of indulging in short-term fixes that set the franchise back in the long term.
Some of these players will be easier to pry away from their current teams than the likes of Gasol and Aldridge — especially Monroe, who’s unrestricted and went through an ugly, highly publicized negotiation with the Pistons last summer. Going after a player like Monroe or Knight, coming off their rookie contract, will also provide a middle ground in the age of the team’s core between the 19-year-old they’re going to draft and the 30-year-old Anthony.
It’s going to take time for the Knicks to rebuild properly, and who knows whether they’ll actually get there. But going after younger, middle-tier stars and holding onto their draft picks is going to be a better strategy going forward than the “clear out cap space and hope we can lure LeBron James or Kevin Durant with New York’s appeal as a media market” roster-construction method that’s been in place for a while.