The NBA is no longer having team-affiliated media vote on awards – a productive step that addresses a clear conflict of interest.
But the league can’t reconcile the fact that voters will always have some external pressures and biases to vote a certain way.
Celtics guard Jae Crowder – who came one vote from making the All-Defensive second team last year – wants a Boston writer to feel that pressure.
Monday afternoon, Crowder received a question from one of the writers who left him off the all-defensive ballot. The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn wanted to know whether it’s always good to play with a chip on your shoulder.
“I have guys like you on my back, talking bad about me, not giving me that one vote I needed to be (all-defensive team),” Crowder said.
“So if I rubbed any of you guys wrong, I apologize,” Crowder said. “Hopefully I don’t this year. But I just want to do what I’ve got to do, and that’s to prepare myself and prepare my teammates to fight as hard as we can to win each and every game.”
King this week:
I’m not convinced Crowder has moved on. And that’s OK. He should find motivation where he can.
In fact, he’s probably not looking hard enough.
By my count, there were six Boston (or at least Boston-ish) voters for All-Defensive teams:
- Gary Washburn (The Boston Globe)
- Cedric Maxwell (98.5 The Sports Hub)
- Sherrod Blakely (CSN New England)
- Tom Heinsohn (CSN New England)
- Bill Simmons (The Bill Simmons Podcast)
- Sean Deveney (Sporting News)
Heinsohn and Simmons picked Crowder for the second team. The other four left him off entirely (which, for the record, I think was the right move in a close call).
And rest easy about Washburn caving to the pressure. That’s not him.