Due to factors involving money, and not common sense, the NBA held its awards show last night to honor its winners from the 2018-19 season, at a time when most people have already moved on to the 2019-20 campaign. It used to be an incredible sight to have a player receive his MVP award prior to a home playoff game, and not to take away from what was a touching moment for Giannis Antetokounmpo in receiving his MVP award, but these stuffy galas don’t have the same impact for me.
In case you were otherwise occupied last night, you can familiarize yourself with all the winners on the league’s website. Unlike some recent years, no Sixers came away with hardware, but a couple members of the Philadelphia organization did receive down-ballot votes.
Joel Embiid finished 7th in MVP voting (Giannis was the winner). Not much to complain about here. Let’s just all take another moment to be thankful that the Sixers have a top-10 NBA player.
Embiid also finished 4th for Defensive Player of the Year, receiving one first-place vote (behind Rudy Gobert, Giannis, and Paul George). There’s no denying the impact Embiid has when out on the court (you only have to remind yourself by taking another look at the plus-minus numbers from the Raptors series), but Joel was certainly knocked for playing just 64 games last season.
Elton Brand received two third-place votes for Executive of the Year (Milwaukee’s Jon Horst won). Brand assembled the Sixers’ Big Four in moves for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. However, the general consensus is that Brand significantly overpaid in the Harris deal, and there’s still no guarantee either or both players stick around.
JJ Redick finished 11th in the Teammate of the Year voting (Mike Conley won the award). You may recall the incident where JJ snapped at reporters at a shootaround about all the attention paid to Markelle Fultz and his shot. Guys in the locker room know Redick will always have their backs.
Now, with the final vestiges of the 2018-19 season behind us, we can fully turn our attention to the madness of next week’s free agency.