Liberty Ballers was one of 18 blogs to participate in 2012 SB Nation NBA Awards voting. Actually, it was just me, because I refused to consult with my bloggissists after Mike sent me, off the record, a case for Craig Brackins to win Sixth Man of the Year in a 1,800-word Shakespearean poem.
Here were the winners, and my votes, along with brief explanations:
MVP: LeBron James (15 of 18 first place votes)
My vote: LeBron. This one is a no-brainer, for obvious reasons. LeBron's the best player in the league, hands down, and anyone who tells you otherwise, or tells you he doesn't deserve the MVP, is probably wearing an "I <3 Skip Bayless" tee to bed every night.
Defensive Player: Tyson Chandler (9 of 18 first place votes)
My vote: Again, I went with LeBron. I'm fine with Chadler winning, but LeBron's a better defender and a more versatile defender. If he wasn't 'LeBron James' he'd win this award every year, but his defense, along with everything else he does, gets taken for granted because of who he is. There's no other player like him, period.
P.S. I thought about voting for Iguodala, for no reason other than an 'he deserves to be in the discussion vote', but I knew that someone else voted for him, so I went with the correct choice.
Sixth Man: James Harden (18 of 18 first place votes)
Another no brainer – Harden was the only unanimous selection. I thought about throwing Louis Williams a bone, because like Iguodala, I think he deserves to recognition. If I had a second place vote, it'd go to Boss. He led a Playoff team in scoring, off the bench!
Executive of the Year: Larry Bird (6 of 18 first place votes)
I went R.C. Buford on this one. I hate the award and didn't vote for Bird, because I see the Pacers being built in the same fashion as the Hawks and Sixers ... and you know how I feel about low-ceiling, high-floor franchises. Welcome to mediocreville.
Rookie of the Year: Kyrie Irving (16 of 18 first place votes)
No brainer. The other two votes went to Kenneth Faried, which makes me incredibly sad, because that's who I wanted the Sixers to take – even blatantly advocating it for 6 months – only to see them pass and him become a monster.
Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich (9 of 18 first place votes)
I went with Pop, like the majority of voters. Doug Collins won 'most likely to send 'good morning beautiful' texts to ex-players at 11 PM in the bizzaro NBA awards, though.
Most Improved Player: No one
We weren't allowed to vote on this award because Tom Ziller is still bitter about losing 'Most Improved Flute Player' to little Billy Stroker in his fourth grade music class. Stroker came on late with an epic flute solo at the Cinco De Mayo assembly after Ziller quietly quintupled his notes per minute production throughout the spring semester.
Former classmates still rave about Ziller's C-Note. "The elegance and length in which Ziller played his flute still gives me GooseBumps, to this day," said former classmate, Ethan Winer, "I feel like R.L. Stine every time I reminisce".
Little Billy Stroker is now a divorce court judge in the greater Sacramento area. Tom Ziller gets paid to write about basketball. Take that, Stroker.