Ever since I was a young kid, I always knew my destiny was either to become
1) Michael Jordan’s lawyer.
2) NBA commissioner.
3) Create Illmatic 2 with Nas.
It seems like the stars are telling me to side with number 2 and thus I’m preparing for my eventual decent into NBA greatness and lore by creating some more AWARDS! Welcome to Chingy’s NBA awards! Based upon the history of the game, because as everyone knows “Basketball can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
BILL WALTON AWARD:
“A big man that can affect the game upon every level, he runs his team’s offense and effectively anchors his team’s defense.”
Really only one player in today’s game effectively covers all the credentials needed for the Bill Walton award. This player is just a few inches taller than Walton, lacks Walton’s horrible red head mop and jungle armpit look but both players serve as the emotional leader of their squads. Marc Gasol is the one centre that can affect every aspect of a basketball game, some big men are animals on defense; D12, Sergeant Serge (If this isn’t his nickname already let’s just start calling him that) or Duncan. Some big men are beast offensively, they can spread the floor (KLove, Ryan Anderson) they might be able to flush the rock like Dominique (Griffin, DeAndre Jordan) but how many centres can effectively run your offense AND anchor your entire defense? Out of all the centres I just mentioned, Marc Gasol is by far the best passer and clearly has the highest IQ without question. Throw in the fact Gasol is a top 5-7 post player (2 Gasols, Aldridge, Hibbert, Lopez, Jefferson and Nowitzki) and if he gets doubled that means a team mate is getting an open jumpshot. Before the Rudy Gay trade, the offense ran through Gasol a lot, he always seemed to always be involved in the play, probably because his basketball IQ resembles his brother’s. Once Conley started to bloom, Gasol took a step back, letting his Point Guard create the offense and thus prioritising things like anchoring a defense and establishing a deep post position. Should I also bring up the fact he won the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year? Marc Gasol is the Swiss army knife of basketball, he excels in everything you would want your big men to excel in, like Walton, both players were not gifted athletic monsters, they just thought and thought the game through. Marc Gasol, the 21st century version of Bill Walton, (Though I must add I would take a prime Bill Walton over Marc Gasol is a heartbeat, greatest passing big men without question, His team trumped the 76’ers who had Julius Erving and Moses Malone.)
Runner up : Roy Hibbert
HIbbert doesn’t cover all elements of the award as well as Gasol, Hibbert never initiated nor created the offense. His passing is also mediocre and he often left it to George Hill and Paul George to get him the ball in the post or to get him pick and rolls and unlike Gasol he doesn’t win or dominate with his IQ, he does it because he’s a 7’2 wrecking ball with a huge body. However no one anchors a defense in today’s league like Hibbert, Dwight Howard’s defense and athletic ability has slipped and it’s visible. Pau Gasol’s statistics are inflated because he plays on a bad team, his post skills are still superb but his defense is pretty average and Tim Duncan just doesn’t play enough minutes and Parker is definitely the designated shot creator/offense runner of the team. LeBron James also deserves a legitimate mention, actually this is probably going to be a running theme, James can literally be a top 10 candidate in any award I make up and that’s just a testament to his excellence and superior skill, enjoy him whilst his prime last.
ISIAH THOMAS AWARD:
“The emotional leader of the team that clearly has a nasty streak, he is easily able to create his own shot and has mastered the get-teammates-involved-until-the-last-five-minutes-where-he-takes-over act.”
It’s pretty obvious who deserves this award, he’s one of the best Point Guards of all time and definitely one of the most fundamentally sound, basically a jack of all trades who currently leads my MVP voting ballot! CHRIS PAUL DON’T SHOW THEM THAT VERSATILITY. DON’T MAKE THOSE BIG MEN DANCE LIKE THAT. Chris Paul is by far the best floor general in the game and everything he does seems to be a calculated move towards a win, from setting up alley oops to his high fliers, to using screens to get himself easy mid range jumpers, to buttering up the referees with some kind words during timeouts. Chris Paul is the maestro of the game, much like Bill Walton, he affects every single aspect of a game and his presence is always felt, after all he is directly responsible for approximately 40% of Clipper’s points either through scoring himself or assists. Much like Isiah Thomas, both players are the creators and closers during close games, no one apart from Crawford can create a shot, and CP3 regularly turns chicken feces into chicken salad. When saddled with two big men that can’t hit free throws or effectively execute a successful post move (Griffin and Jordan) and two wing players that are there to ONLY spread the floor (Reddick and Dudley) then the burden of every close game naturally rests upon the shoulders of CP3. Currently only LeBron James wields more influence upon the basketball game, edit, only a 6’8 freak of nature that’s going down as a top 5 player of all time with some of the highest IQ that the game has seen, wields more influence in 48 minutes. You might even convince me to start my team with a prime 2009 Chris Paul over a prime Isiah, (CP3’s 2009 statistics 22.8 points/ 11 assist (Leading the league)/ 2.8 steals (Leading)/ 50.3%/ 38.5 minutes) (Zeke’s 1985 statistics 21.2 points/ 13.2 assist (Leading)/ 2.3 steals/ 47.6%/ 38.1 minutes) Paul is a much better shooter, he consistently hits ridiculous jumpshots from different spots on the floor and from different angles, just watch him light up the Lakers in the 2011 playoffs or him dropping 45 points against Stephen Curry. Zeke on the other hand is the coldest Point Guard, he’s the Reggie Miller/Larry Bird of tiny guards, a long with Vinnie “Microwave” Johnson, the Bad Boys won’t losing a game if they were leading in the final minutes. Watch Zeke drop 16 points in NINTY SECONDS in the 84 playoffs, or Zeke dropping 25 points in the 1988 finals on a severely sprained ankle. ICE COLD. It’s close it’s definitely close and that’s a HUGE compliment for CP3, after all Isiah Thomas is the third best Point Guard behind Magic and Big O.
Runner up : LeBron James, I didn’t want to put LeBron James here because honestly he would win or be a runner up in every award I make. But with the downfall of Deron Williams and the looming retirement of the older generation of Point Guards such as Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, the new school Point Guards are too scoring based, plus you can’t tell me Derrick Rose, Westbrook or John Wall affect the game like the 6’4 walking double Jason Kidd. I’m not saying that’s a negative thing, these two styles focus upon different things, the banning of hand checking and the implementation of weaker fouls and the defensive 3 second rule has lead to quick guards starting to dominate and take on more responsibility when it comes to scoring through using their athletic ability. Moving back to the original subject, LeBron James affects the game on the highest level, he’s the main point guard for the Heat, he’s the team’s best defensive player, he’s the best scorer on Miami and is expected to drop 25+ points with a scorching efficiency. James is the modern (and more improved version and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) variant of Oscar Robertson, Mr Triple Double from the 1960s. Honestly you could of even convinced me to give this award to King James, I just don’t think Isiah Thomas would of wanted a 6’8 monster winning this since his game was always a reminder of the NBA underdog.