The NBA’s end-of-season awards are voted on by a large collection of the media, and while the process is far from perfect, the league has at least made it transparent in order to see exactly where the nonsensical votes are coming from.
But the players themselves would like a say, and thanks to the union’s new executive director Michele Roberts, they will have it beginning this season — at least to a certain extent.
From Sam Amick of USA Today:
Nearly three months after the Oklahoma City Thunder star voiced his opinion that NBA players should vote on the league’s regular season awards instead of the media, first-year National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts issued an internal memo announcing the “2015 Players Choice Awards.”
The memo, which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports, stated that anonymous votes will be cast and the winners will be announced at a summer meeting in Las Vegas. The media has voted on NBA awards since the 1980-81 season.
“This program was created at your request to recognize outstanding performance of your peers, on and off the court,” Roberts wrote. “No one knows better than you what it takes to shine.”
Kevin Durant was vocal in his desire for this during All-Star weekend in New York City.
“They [the media] have too much power,” he said at the time. “The players know each other inside and out. The media isn’t in the film room and goes for sexy names.”
Roberts is interested in empowering the players, but she also seems to be encouraging them to have an increasing level of disdain for the media, which is wholly unnecessary.
As for this new batch of awards that is voted on by the players, it’ll be interesting to see how they compare to the ones the media hands out — and whether the general public ends up caring about them in the slightest. Because unless the league adopts this as an entirely new process, these awards will largely be seen as a duplication of the official ones, and will have little to no historical significance.