NBA to host televised award show June 26

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The National Basketball Players Association hosted a televised award show two years ago. It largely flopped, and the union announced its awards on social media last season.

Now, the NBA is trying its hand at a televised award show.

NBA release:

The NBA announced today that the first-ever NBA Awards Show will take place in New York City on Monday, June 26, 2017.  Televised exclusively by TNT, the show will feature current and former NBA players, coaches and celebrities.

The league will honor the:

  • Most Valuable Player
  • Defensive Player of the Year
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Sixth Man Award
  • Most Improved Player
  • Coach of the Year

As is, this is scheduled for after the Finals (beginning June 1 and ending by June 18) and after the draft (June 22). But when this idea was discussed a couple years ago, part of the plan was pushing back the draft and free agency.

By June 26, most fans are celebrating a championship or already focused on the offseason. How many people will be excited about regular-season awards at that point?

I’m not totally convinced this show will pay off, and the schedule is only part of the problem.

In previous years, the league announced award winners one at a time early on various days throughout the conference playoffs. People debated the selection throughout the day. The player was honored at a press conference and/or before his game that night or a day or two later. Each award generated a ton of exposure for the league, and collectively, that exposure built over a long period of time.

Now, that all gets folded into a single day.

Maybe TNT paid enough for broadcast rights to justify the NBA’s choice. The league will certainly cash in more directly this way.

But the risk of creating an apathy around the awards is high enough that I’m not totally convinced this is a wise move.