Only Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid will hold an MVP trophy for this season, just like how only one of them will make First Team All-NBA. If the second MVP candidate not making the All-NBA First Team doesn’t scream ‘this system is broken and needs fixing,’ then nothing else could. Luckily, we don’t just bring up problems if we don’t also have the remedy to stop the bleeding.
A Generational Problem
The sportswriters and broadcasters who vote on All-NBA selections are told to honor the best players in the league for that season. The problem is that they are supposed to select two guards, two forwards, and one center for each of the three teams.
It’s this ‘one center rules all’ perspective, for why a peak Bill Russell was snubbed to an All-NBA Second team in ‘62, and Bob Petit, who willed his team to 26 wins, was handed 1st Team All-NBA honors as a power forward.
John Havlicek wasn’t even the best player on his team in 1973, but will be etched into the record books as a first-teamer? All because his teammate, Dave Cowens, who was selected in the second’s spot, was not better than Kareem. Does that make sense to anybody?
The same thing happened with Kareem in ‘78 and ‘79, David Robinson in ‘94, Shaq in ‘95, Hakeem in ‘96, and they're just the non-negotiable examples. For too long, a center has been an unforgettable superstar but missed out on a First Team selection because either the best or second-best player in the league was also a center.
Today it’s 100x worse. The game has never been as positionless and ill-defined as it is now. That’s because coaches love throwing similar-sized players on floors for easy defensive switches. Likewise, talent agents and general managers disregard players if they can’t shoot or pass - despite your size. So when it comes to centers, you can no longer box them in for how they play on the court.
When I said I had the fix, I meant to write: I found the answer.
The concept is fairly self-explainable. But there is one issue with this. The game is so positionless that it works against the remedy itself. Is Giannis a C/F/G and is Kat just a C/F? Or just a C?
It’s already confusing enough…
One theory is just to destroy the concept of the ‘team’ since it appears ‘positions’ no longer exists anyhow. So now you would have to vote the top 5 best players in and make that group a team. But that won’t happen because that idea sucks, and anyone who says that to you should be told they suck with it.
Because that simply translates to an MVP ranking. I won’t even get into how the decision-making process for that award is filled with hypocrisies and flaws. Now that I think about it, the Hall Of Fame sucks too. Wait, does the NBA have any system of awards that isn’t completely impaired? With the revival of the big man, listed centers will be sold short since they have half the sized windows compared to any other player to make that first team.