NBA Stat Central #10: Awards Voting Gaffes

Voting on individual awards generally doesn’t spark a whole lot of controversy. The MVP races usually are a two-man race and even then, the right guy usually sets himself apart. However, a deeper look at the voting reveals some really head-scratching stuff.

NBA Stat Central is one of our regular features here on We’re here every Friday with a new theme as we dig deep into the statistics of the NBA.

On this week’s NBA Stat Central, we’re going to take a deeper look at awards over the last 10 seasons and who received votes that we can’t believe.


Josh Selby received a vote in the Rookie of the Year race, despite the fact he played just 8.5 minutes per game and shot just 34.7 percent from the field. He actually had a negative win share, meaning he did more to hurt his team than help it.

Grant Hill (all 39 years of him) received two votes for Defensive Player of the Year, despite boasting a not-so-impressive defensive rating of 107.


In a year where Dwight Howard received 114 out of 120 first place votes for Defensive Player of the Year, Keith Bogans received one of the other first place votes. That’s not shocking until you realize…he wasn’t listed on ANY other ballot at all.


This year was a mess for the Most Improved Player voting. There were three different players who received first place votes and weren’t listed on any other ballots. Wilson Chandler, Glen Davis and Jason Terry were given first place votes.


Being a unanimous winner just doesn’t seem to happen when sports voting takes place. There’s usually someone who just has to ruin it for everyone. In the Sixth Man of the Year, Manu Ginobili received 123 of 124 first place votes. The other vote went to Leandro Barbosa, who had an excellent year. The problem is, Ginobili averaged more points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and he shot better. But that’s all.

Shaquille O’Neal was undoubtedly one of the best players to ever step on an NBA court. At age 35, his skills had declined considerably, but he was still to be feared. To call him a candidate for Most Improved Player? I don’t think so. He actually received votes.


Perhaps it was a Canadian voter that stole Brandon Roy‘s chance at a unanimous Rookie of the Year win. Someone gave Andrea Bargnani a first place vote, despite the fact he was inferior in every stat except blocks. Way to go, eh?


The Deron Williams fan club started long ago and made their presence felt with the lone first place vote to steal Chris Paul‘s unanimous title away. Paul averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.2 steals as a rookie. Williams couldn’t come anywhere CLOSE to that. It’s like the baseball writers who refuse to vote someone in on the first ballot…idiotic.


Kevin Garnett‘s 2003-04 MVP season was one for the ages. There have only been four players to average over 24 points, 13.5 rebounds and five assists per game for a season. Garnett even averaged 1.5 steals and 2.2 blocks and his team was the No. 1 seed in the conference. Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor and Garnett. So, it makes sense to give votes to Jermaine O’Neal and Peja Stojakovic, right? What more do you guys need?

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HoopsHabit’s Regular Column Schedule:

Monday – NBA Awards Watch
Wednesday – NBA Power Rankings
Friday – NBA Stat Central
Sunday – Your NBA Fix Podcast


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