The Race for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award is wide open
The NBA’s Sixth Man of The Year Award is often associated with winning basketball. The first two winners of the award, Bobby Jones of the Philadelphia 76ers and Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics, each played for teams that went on to win the NBA Championship that season. Over the years, five winners of the award have gone on to be elected to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It has transitioned from an afterthought to one of the most respected individual accolades in the game.
Early in the season, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was asked to come off the bench for the first time in his storied career. Although he initially bulked at the idea, he eventually warmed up to it and became a sparkplug for the team both offensively and defensively. However, with the Lakers failing to live up to expectations, the team decided it was best to make changes before the trade deadline; Westbrook was sent to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal. Instantly, the Sixth Man of The Year Award went from being Westbrook’s to lose to a wide-open race.
The Sixth Man of The Year has become a coveted form of recognition in the NBA. This year there are several great candidates for the award.
This has been an interesting NBA season, to say the least. Teams near the top of the Conferences include the usual suspects like the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets. However, there are also some surprises near the top of the standings, like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Sacramento Kings. There are several players who have established themselves as key contributors in the second unit who are important to their team’s success or failure. Let’s take a closer look at four players who have a realistic shot to walk away with this year’s Sixth Man of The Year Award.