The NBA’s award season is in full swing – Gregg Popovich locked up the Coach of The Year title, and Tyson Chandler is apparently locked in as Defensive Player of the Year. While we wait on some of the bigger categories, it’s time to hand out some lesser known and appreciated honors, The NBA Anti-Awards. These awards (playfully) recognize some of the most miserable and discouraging achievements in basketball. Last year’s group featured some incredible performancesand this season was no different. Without further ado, here are your 2012 Anti-Award winners:
The Shawn Bradley Award – This award goes to the player, 6’10″ or taller, who had the highest percentage of his shot attempts blocked (minimum 500 minutes played).
Reggie Evans is this season’s surprise winner, with 19.4% of shots blocked on the season. Evans’ relentless pursuit of the ball meant he was often able to pad his numbers by having his shot blocked multiple times on the same offensive possession. His 19.4% was more than triple the league average of 6.2%. That percentage also slightly edges out last year’s winner, Zaza Pachulia who came in at 19.1%. It was an impressive season long effort from Evans.
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.
For the second year in a row DeMarcus Cousins is our winner in this category. He fouled out 7 times on the season, just once more than David Lee. Although Cousins was able to hang on in the end, this was a down year for him. He cut his foul rate per 36 minutes from 5.2 to 4.7. There are plenty of awkward and aggressive big men nipping at his heels. Cousins will need to put in some work this summer if he’s going to hold onto his crown in 2013.
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.
Give it up for JaVale McGee, who totalled just 31 assists to 552 field goal attempts, a ratio of 0.04 for the season. The Nuggets and Wizards were happy to have him shoot when the ball was in his hands, as he finished the season with 87 turnovers, more than twice his assist total. McGee does a couple of things very well, passing is not one of them.
The Darrick Martin Award – This award goes to the player with the lowest FG% and a minimum of 150 attempts. The award is named for Darrick Martin, a career 38.2% shooter who played 514 games over 13 NBA seasons.
Father Time finally caught up with Mike Bibby. Well, he caught up with Bibby about five years ago, but this season their relationship reached it’s intertwined peak. The one consistent skill Bibby has offerred over the past few seasons, shooting, has now completely abandoned him. Bibby shot 28.2% on the season, just nosing out DeShawn Stevenson and Shawne Williams, who also shot less than 30.0% from the field. I think it’s safe to say that Bibby probably won’t be on the floor next season to defend his title.
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.
Seven different players (Monta Ellis, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeremy Lin, Ben Gordon, John Wall and Baron Davis) had a 9 turnover game this season. But in this crazy 66-game season, that just wasn’t enough. Kobe Bryant‘s 10 turnover game from February 19th against the Suns takes the cake. Kobe appeared to have his eyes on this prize all season, pushing his turnovers per 36 minutes to 3.3, the 3rd highest of his career. Congratulations Mr. Bryant, mission accomplished.
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 one of our most popular awards and always one of the most competitive. Steve Novak pulled away from the pack around the All-Star Break and won comfortably, grabbing just 5.9% of the total rebounds while he was on the floor. His 104 rebounds in 1020 minutes meant he could be counted on to grab a carom once for every ten minutes or so of game time. As we noted earlier in the season, consistent minutes is probably the only thing that’s kept Novak from being a multiple Bullard Award Winner.
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 Finals last season.
Kevin Durant could be taking home the MVP this season, but he’s grabbed some other impressive hardware as well. His 23 misses, during an 11-34 performance against the Lakers, were tops this season. He was just barely able to snatch this award away from it’s namesake, Bryant, who missed 22 shots on two separate occasions. A few lucky bounces and this award could have been sitting on a different mantle.
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.
Dwight Howard, 18 misses on January 12th against the Warriors. I’ve only been doing this for two seasons and Howard is already on his way to a lifetime achievement award.
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)
This year’s winner is wily veteran, Earl Watson, who played regular back-up point guard minutes for the Utah Jazz, turning the ball over on 32.0% of his possessions. This category is always dominated by erratic point guards (Baron Davis, Chris Duhon, Jamal Tinsley) and cement-handed big men (Kendrick Perkins, Reggie Evans, Omer Asik), but this year Watson was just too much to handle.
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)
Congratulations to rookie Norris Cole who produced -2.8 Wins for the Miami Heat. Other players like Shawne Williams, Toney Douglas and Austin Daye were less productive on a per minute basis, but Cole was able to get on the floor for 1,260 minutes, which made all the difference. Cole is a rookie and with improvement, will probably take himself out of the running next year. Cherish this award Norris, you’ve earned it and the chance might not come again.