2014 NBA Anti-Awards!
USA Today Sports
It’s time again for The NBA Anti-Awards! These awards (playfully) recognize some of the most miserable and discouraging statistical achievements in basketball. This is the 4th season in which I’ve handed out these awards and you can find past winners on the archive page. Continue the conversation (yell at me about not appreciating ______ ) on Twitter with the hashtag, #AntiAwards.
Without further ado, here are your 2014 winners:
The Shawn Bradley Award – This award goes to the player 6’10″ or taller who has had the highest percentage of his own shot attempts blocked (minimum 500 minutes played).
He just barely met the minute requirement to qualify, but our old friend Omer Asik is this year’s winner. 30 of his 190 shot attempts were turned away this season, which works out to 15.8%. Asik was actual the first ever winner of this award, having 19.1% of his shot attempts blocked as a rookie in 2011. While this year’s effort represents a significant regression from his youthful explosion, it was still more than enough to earn a little extra hardware for his mantle at home. Below are a selection of his rejected shots from this season, not suitable for children.
The Shawn Kemp Award – This award goes to the player who has fouled out of the most games. From 1986 up through the present, Shawn Kemp is the NBA’s leader in foul outs with 115, 35 more than his next closest competitor.
In one of our tightest races ever, Jason Thompson of the Sacramento Kings snuck in at the 11th hour to steal this award. With just two games left in the Kings’ season Thompson was one of 12 NBA players who had fouled out four times, all looking up at teammates Amir Johnson and Kyle Lowry who had each fouled out five times for the Raptors. But in the Kings’ second-to-last game of the season Thompson picked up six fouls in just 26 minutes, pulling into a three-way tie with Johnson and Lowry. Thompson’s per-36 minute foul rate, 4.4, ultimately broke the tie, just edging out Johnson. The fouls from Thompson’s crucial disqualification are below, truly a clutch performance for the ages.
The Jahidi White Award – This award goes to the player with the lowest ratio of Ast/FGA (minimum 500 minutes played). The award is named for White who assisted on just 1.7% of his teammates’ baskets over a 334 game career.
The past two seasons this award has belonged to JaVale McGee, but with him missing nearly all of the season with injuries the category was wide open. In the end, Andre Drummond worked his way into first place, totaling 35 assists against 769 field goal attempts. Obviously Drummond’s award-winning performance is mostly a product of his offensive role–he’s thoroughly an endpoint to a possession. But I feel like it’s still important to capture just how small is contributions are in the passing category. The images below are all to scale, showing the relative size of each player’s Ast/FGA ratio.
The Darrick Martin Award - This award goes to the player with the lowest FG% and a minimum of 300 attempts. The award is named for Darrick Martin, a career 38.2% shooter who played 514 games over 13 NBA seasons.
Admit it, you thought this was going to be Ricky Rubio, didn’t you?
While the shooting struggles of everyone’s favorite floppy-haired Spaniard have been the narrative du jour, John Salmons was toiling away in the anonymity provided by a place in the Toronto Raptors’ rotation. This season Salmons threw up enough bricks to build himself a charming three-bedroom Tudor in the quiet suburb of Hamilton, Ontario. He finished the year having made just 36.3% of his 413 field goal attempts, 10 percentage points lower than any other qualifying player and a full 18 percentage points lower than Rubio. Below, courtesy of Vorped.com, is the shot chart from Salmons’ award-winning season.
The Jason Kidd Award – This award goes to the player with the most turnovers in a single game. Jason Kidd has had a Hall of Fame career with many terrific positive statistical contributions. He’s also had 3 career games with more than 12 turnovers.
This was another category that ended in an unbelievably tight race. Both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant had games of 11 turnovers this season, the only NBA players to hit double-digits this season. But Curry held the tie-breaker by virtue of his much higher season-long turnover percentage. Amazingly, Curry’s 11 turnover performance came on Halloween night, in the Warriors’ second game of the season. He never approached that mark again, but it was enough to hold across the 80 games that followed. Below you’ll find footage of all of Curry’s 11 turnovers from that game. Be warned, they’re coming at you fast.
The Matt Bullard Award – This award goes to the player 6’10″ or taller with the lowest Total Rebound Percentage. (Minimum 500 minutes)
This is the third consecutive season that the Matt Bullard award ends up with Steve Novak. At this point, it is becoming increasingly challenging to come up with new angles to explore about the deficit in his rebounding acumen. So this season, in celebration of his lack of accomplishments, I thought a simple bar graph comparing the likelihood of him rebounding a missed shot to other unlikely NBA events might be the best way to capture it.
The Kobe Bryant Award – This award goes to the player who has missed the most shot attempts in a single game. The award is inspired by Kobe’s performance in Game 7 of the 09-10 Finals.
Rudy Gay is really a magnificent creature. His 26 missed field goals on November 11th against the Houston Rockets were not only the most in the NBA this season, they are the highest total in Anti-Award history. Gay’s career changed for the better when he was traded to the Kings but this was a night that he’ll get to carry with for the rest of his life. I’ve strung all 26 misses together into a never-ending loop of sadness. Congratulations Rudy, you really earned this one.
The Nick Anderson Award - This award goes to the player who missed the most free throws in a single game. Anderson was actually a decent free throw shooter. But his four missed free throw attempts in the 1995 Finals against Houston kind of stand out in my memory.
I’m a guy who has no shame about repeating a joke so I’ll point out, again, that Dwight Howard is making this category into his own personal lifetime achievement award. This is his fourth consecutive win and it has never really been close. Despite strong competition from DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond, Howard’s 14 missed free throws against the Lakers this season were, quite literally, a bridge too far. Frankly, I’m willing to pencil Howard in for this one from now until infinity. And now, as a light in the darkness, enjoy a selection of highlights from Howard’s award-winning performance.
The Chris Childs Award – This award goes to the player who has posted the highest Turnover Percentage so far this season. It’s named after former New York Knick, Chris Childs, who retired with a career Turnover Percentage of 22.8%. (Minimum 500 minutes)
To Kendrick Perkins it may have felt like he was always a bridesmaid, never a bride, when it came to the Anti-Awards. But as his career has wound down he is finally receiving some long overdue recognition. Perkins is this season’s Chris Childs Award winner, having turned the ball over on 28.7% of his offensive possessions. This is not something that Perkins just stumbled into either. This season was the culmination of a steady, sustained increase in his inability to protect the basketball.
The Andrea Bargnani Award (Formerly the Darius Songaila Award) – This award goes to the player who has provided his team with the least overall production. I use Wins Produced to determine the winner here. (Minimum 500 minutes)
You have to be happy for Tony Wroten. Sure, he may have netted the 76ers -2.3 Wins Produced this season, but he was just doing his job. Negative wins is exactly what the 76ers were looking for! After playing just 272 minutes as a rookie, Wroten finally found a home, a role, a niche. His coaches asked him to blow a hole through their effectiveness and grab as many lottery balls as he could. In that context, Wroten was a stunning, shining success. Someday the 76ers will be looking for positive production again, and I feel very confident that the experience he gained this season will help Wroten flip that switch.