Awarding some of the “lesser-known” NBA awards

Matt Bonner

The Spurs’ Matt Bonner is still proudly rocking the white New Balances. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

In light of the recent “serious” awards from the NBA like MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc., we have awarded some of the lesser-known, yet just as important, awards. 

Player Most Likely To Look Good Rocking New Balance Shoes: Matt Bonner

If you look it up, he is the ONLY player left wearing New Balance because they decided it wasn’t worth their time to keep sponsoring NBA players. Although I suppose I could have gone with “most likely to be found shooting the widest open threes” that’s too easy. Bonner still wears the shoes even though he isn’t sponsored anymore and is desperate to get his hands on more before he runs out and is forced to actually get good basketball shoes. That will be a very sad day indeed.

Best Flopper: Derek Fisher

There are several Heat players that could fit here, but I wanted to show a little balance. Fisher has made an entire career of flopping and was finally fined for it this postseason.  He had a fantastic synchronized flop with Kevin Martin on Omer Asik even though Asik had stopped running through the lane and passed the ball off. Other than a Game 5 Western Conference Semifinal shot that will never be replicated again in his career, Fisher has made a living attracting charges by being an overall nuisance and pesky defender. He gets calls based on reputation rather than actuality now and so he earns the flopper of the year award. 

Player Who Needs To Go Into Hiding This Offseason: Patrick Beverley

Beverley didn’t play particularly bad for the Rockets. He took over for an injured Jeremy Lin and doubled his production (5.6 PPG up to 11.8 and 2.7 RPG up to 5.5) to surprise the Thunder and take two games away from them. However, a big reason they were able to do that was because of Beverley’s “cheap shot” on Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. He is believed to be the reason the Thunder could not get by the Memphis Grizzlies. I don’t think Beverley will be not be showing his face in the state of Oklahoma for a very long time. 

Best Nicknames: (The Beard) James Harden, Manu (Obi-Wan) Ginobili, Carlos Boozer (Booze) and Andrei Kirilenko (AK47)

I couldn’t give the award to one guy. There are just so many good nicknames out there, but I tried to narrow down the list. Harden makes this list mostly because his beard has its own twitter page and is recognized by the man himself (which is almost better than being Twitter verified).

Manu Ginobili has been called many things in his career (left-handed, crafty, and slow to give examples) but the best one has been “Obi-Wan Ginobili” (after famed Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi). However, Ginobili helped the San Antonio Spurs get to the Western Conference Finals and after being the second-to-last pick in the 1999 draft. He has blossomed into one of the greatest users of the basketball force the world has ever seen.

Carlos Boozer makes this list because there are so many variations of his last name/nickname. “The Booze Cruise” is one of the more popular ones, but “Cruisin’ for a Boozin” also comes to mind as an underrated nickname. Just remember to never underestimate “The Booz.”

He’s Russian, he actually wears 47, and his initials match the Soviet-made gun. Do I really have to explain this further? The man is a machine, both in the box score and in his demeanor. He goes on the court, takes care of business, and doesn’t appear again until the next game. That’s how efficient AK47 has become.

 Best Chance At Winning the MVP (other than LeBron): Anybody

There are a number of guys who can take the hardware away from James if they play even just a little better next season. Kevin Durant is an obvious choice as he came in second for voting this year and, as noted in a recent Sports Illustrated article, he definitely is not content with coming in second. He wants to win it all and he is about one good role player away from doing it.

Steph Curry is another guy who can contend for the MVP trophy if the media ever gave the Warriors as much attention as they deserved (overhyping during the playoffs doesn’t count). He is the best shooter in the game right now and even made the record for most three-pointers in a season with 272. He has the potential to be a 50-40-90 (FG%-3P%-FT%) guy if he can get to the hoop more and improve his overall field goal percentage (45.1%), which is actually lower than his shooting percentage from downtown (45.3%). Three’s won’t be a problem as he has never shot below 43% in a season yet.

Kevin Love could find himself in the 50-40-90 talk too if he could ever stay healthy enough and he could bring this team back to the playoffs after a 10-year drought.

Carmelo Anthony is a popular name being thrown in the hat as well since he was this season’s scoring champion, taking the honor away from Durant. Anthony has shown he can carry a team with his shooting alone. He will have to improve on the defensive side of the ball if he wants any chance of competing for an MVP trophy.

Team Most Likely To Hire A Bad Coach: Charlotte Bobcats

Was there any other choice here? Michael Jordan gave Mike Dunlap a season and he found a way to screw that up (although they did win three times as many games as the season before). However, the hints were there that he had no business hiring Dunlap in the first place- he has an instructional DVD about a 1-1-3 man zone defense. If you follow the NBA at all you know that Michael Jordan has no business being in the front office of any organization and so his every decision gets questioned and this next hire for head coach will be no different. Besides, is there anybody out there who really wants to coach a team of scrubs?

The official NBA All-Hair Team for 2012-13: Players with the best ‘dos