The NBA and the NBPA have agreed to a brand new collective bargaining settlement, eliminating the potential for an offseason lockout. Assuming this pact is ratified by each the league governors and the gamers, it can start with the 2023-24 season and run for seven years, with a mutual opt-out settlement after the sixth yr.
There are a variety of modifications within the new CBA, and probably the most notable is that, beginning subsequent season, gamers should seem in not less than 65 video games to be eligible for main awards and honors comparable to MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and All-NBA Teams.
Load administration and participant availability (or lack thereof) has been a serious level of concern for the league and followers in recent times, and this rule is an try to deal with the difficulty by incentivizing gamers to swimsuit up extra usually. (The truth that the majority relaxation days are pre-planned by group medical staffs is a dialogue for an additional day.) But how a lot of an impression will this new guideline really make?
Less than you would possibly suppose. Since the NBA moved to an 82-game schedule in 1968, there have solely been 11 situations of a participant successful one of many three largest awards (MVP, ROY, DPOY) or making the All-NBA First Team in a non-shortened season whereas enjoying in fewer than 65 video games. (And you add one other three circumstances for honorees falling underneath the pro-rated threshold within the shortened season.) It’s additionally value noting that the entire gamers concerned had not less than one severe damage that saved them on the sideline for an prolonged interval throughout their award-winning seasons, and weren’t lacking the edge due to load administration.
Here’s a more in-depth take a look at every case:
Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo (63 video games in 2020), LeBron James (62 video games in 2012) and Karl Malone (49 video games in 1999) performed fewer than 65 video games, however all of them would have handed the equal threshold based mostly on the lengths of these shortened seasons.
Bill Walton is the one participant to earn an MVP Award in a full 82-game season with out enjoying not less than 71 video games, not to mention 65. The injury-plagued large man sustained a damaged foot in February and he missed the rest of the common season. He returned within the playoffs, however wanted a pain-killing injection to play in Game 2 of the group’s first-round sequence in opposition to the Seattle SuperSonics. An X-ray later revealed a damaged bone in his ankle, and he missed the remainder of the postseason and by no means performed for the Blazers once more. Walton would later sue the group’s medical workers.
If Walton had been ineligible underneath this new threshold, the award — based mostly on the voting of the day –would have gone to George Gervin, who got here in second with 80.5 factors to Walton’s 96. Gervin averaged 27.2 factors, 5.1 rebounds and three.7 assists for the San Antonio Spurs, who went 52-30. Though already a Hall of Famer, Gervin’s legacy could be even larger with an MVP to his title.
Defensive Player of the Year
Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo (63 video games in 2020), Tyson Chandler (62 video games in 2012) and Alonzo Mourning (46 video games in 1999), performed fewer than 65 video games, however all of them would have handed the equal threshold based mostly on the lengths of these shortened seasons.
Kawhi Leonard’s slender 2015 DPOY win over Draymond Green is the kind of state of affairs that might get fairly controversial. It’s one factor if somebody is not even near 65 video games, however lacking the lower off by one recreation would create all types of drama, particularly when it was on account of a major damage as was the case with Leonard who tore a ligament in his hand. Such a situation would additionally increase the query of a minutes requirement in every recreation to keep away from a scnario the place a participant, injured or not, checks in to play for a couple of minutes after which instantly exits.
The 2018 result’s one other fascinating one as a result of neither the winner, Rudy Gobert, nor the runner-up, Joel Embiid, reached the 65-game threshold. Gobert was restricted to 56 video games on account of ankle and knee accidents, every of which saved him out for 10-plus video games. Embiid, in the meantime, was on monitor to get there till he broke a bone in his face in late March and missed the rest of the common season. As a consequence, that season’s award would have gone to Anthony Davis, who completed third within the voting.
Rookie of the Year
Note: Vince Carter (50 video games in 1999) performed fewer than 65 video games, however would have handed the equal threshold based mostly on the size of that shortened season.
To discover the primary instance within the ROY class, you need to return to 1986, when Patrick Ewing received the award regardless of solely enjoying 50 video games on account of a knee damage that required surgical procedure. Ewing was by far the most effective rookie that season, however even again then there have been questions on whether or not he may win it having performed so few video games, even from his personal head coach, Hubie Brown. “He’s A-1; that is why he will be a star for years and years to come back … It’s troublesome to overlook over one-third of the season and are available out No. 1,” Brown mentioned. In the tip, Ewing acquired the honour over Xavier McDaniel, who completed a fairly distant second.
Thirty-one years later, there was the same state of affairs. Brandon Roy was solely in a position to play in 57 video games on account of an impingement in his knee — an damage that sadly grew to become a foreshadowing of how his profession would progress. But, maybe as a result of his damage got here early within the season and he solely acquired higher towards the tip of the marketing campaign, there was by no means a query concerning the winner and Roy acquired all however one of many first-place votes.
Next, we’ll verify in on 2012 ROY Kyrie Irving. Though this was a lockout season that featured a 66-game schedule, Irving’s 51 video games have been nonetheless not sufficient to qualify. Based on the equal threshold of 65 video games in an 82-game season, Irving would have wanted to play not less than 52 video games. This would have been an fascinating case, as he was coping with sprained shoulder close to the tip of the season, and the Cavs determined to play it protected as a result of the video games did not imply something to them. Would the group have let him come again for a recreation to qualify for this award? Like Ewing and Roy, he was by far the most effective rookie that season, and would’ve missed the requirement by the slimmest of margins, which might have led to some actual controversy.
More lately, there’s LaMelo Ball in 2021, who earned his honor in a COVID-shortened season. His 51 video games wouldn’t have been sufficient to qualify, as he would have wanted to swimsuit up in not less than 57 video games. Ball broke his wrist within the second half of the season, which saved him out for 21 video games. Under the brand new pointers, the honour would have gone to Anthony Edwards, who performed in all 72 video games that season.
All-NBA First Team
Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo (63 video games in 2020), Anthony Davis (62 video games in 2020), Luka Doncic (61 video games in 2020), LeBron James (62 video games in 2012), Kobe Bryant (58 video games in 2012), Chris Paul (60 video games in 2012), Dwight Howard (54 video games in 2012), Karl Malone (49 video games in 1999), Tim Duncan (50 video games in 1999), Alonzo Mourning (46 video games in 1999), Allen Iverson (48 video games in 1999) and Jason Kidd (50 video games in 1999) performed fewer than 65 video games, however all of them would have handed the equal threshold based mostly on the lengths of these shortened seasons.
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
New Orleans Jazz
All-NBA First Team has probably the most examples of a participant incomes a serious honor with out attain 65 video games in a full 82-game season, which is very related now that gamers can earn extra considerably cash by making an All-NBA group.
Kawhi Leonard’s honor got here within the COVID-shortened season of 2021, however he nonetheless fell in need of the equal threshold of 57 video games. He was coping with a foot damage late within the season, and the Clippers took further precautions along with his damage. In all, Leonard missed 11 out of the final 18 video games. Under the brand new guidelines, the nod would have gone to Julius Randle, which might have been one of many largest shock First Team nominees in NBA historical past.
Back in 2014, there’s one other instance that additionally would have been pretty controversial. Chris Paul sprained his shoulder in the midst of the season and was restricted to 62 video games, however was nonetheless a transparent First Team honoree. Did he should miss out due to a real long-term damage?
Shaquille O’Neal makes this record twice — in 1998 and 2006. During the 1998 season, he had an belly damage, then broke his wrist whereas punching a heavy bag. Early within the 2006 marketing campaign, he sprained his ankle. The first time, the voting wasn’t even shut, however the second time he eeked out the First Team spot over Ben Wallace. Regardless, he would not have been eligible in both season underneath the brand new standards, and would have misplaced two All-NBA nods. As a consequence, would’ve misplaced his first and final All-NBA honors, dropping him right into a tie for sixth with six choices as a substitute of being tied for fifth all-time with eight awards.
In 1985, Bernard King was placing collectively the most effective season of his profession, however noticed it lower quick on account of a sprained ankle and later, a career-altering ACL tear. But despite the fact that he solely performed in 55 video games, he was so dynamic — 32.9 factors per recreation to win the scoring title — that he was nonetheless named to the First Team, and rightly so.
Walton’s state of affairs in 1978 has already been lined within the MVP part, however to little shock he was named to the First Team as effectively.
Finally, there’s Pete Maravich. Though his second season with the Jazz was irritating on account of varied accidents, which held him to 62 video games, he nonetheless placed on sufficient of a present to make the First Team — although it is value noting that the league was diluted because of the ABA, which featured the likes of Julius Erving and David Thompson.
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