Tuesday, May 03, 2005

First-annual Ben Gordon awards roundup

2nd place in Rookie-of-the-year voting behind Emeka Okafor, and winner of the 6th man award. Ben is the first rookie ever to win the 6th man award, quite an accomplishment. CelticsBlog is (naturally) saying that Ricky Davis got snubbed for 6th man.

I will say that the race for 6th man was more competitive than rookie of the year (6th man award is always an odd judgment anyway, if you're so good why not start?), where I thought Gordon was a class above Okafor for ROY. While the familiar fanfare around Okafor is that he shouldn't be penalized for playing on a poor team, I thought his situation made voters give him too much of a sympathy vote being forced to carry an expansion team.

Rising Suns thinks that Gordon should've won both awards, adding like-minded thoughts:

So Okafor led an 18-win team in points and rebounds. The report on ESPN.com says that Okafor was under intense pressure. I disagree. I don't see how Okafor could have failed. They had no other players, he was going to touch the ball every time down the court, and he's on a expansion team. If he doesn't average 15ppg and at least 10rpg, that's a story.

If you remember back when Gordon's 4th quarter play (as it has so many times this season) led the Bulls to a win over Okafor's Bobcats, the ROY should've been clinched for Ben that night. Okafor's had a nice season and managed to stay sane amid all the losing, but adversity shouldn't dwarf accomplishment. A guy who was drafted to a team that had 23 wins the previous season and had traded away their leading scorer, and then shoulders that load to lead that team to a playoff appearance? What more could you ask of a rookie?

I'm guessing (and the post I quoted above mentions this) that voters didn't feel right giving Gordon both awards, and making the 6th man award his 'consolation prize'? I don't want to seem too greedy expecting hardware for Ben, as like I said winning the award he won as a rookie is still a big deal. But this year's ROY voting shows the unrelenting overvalue of the double-double, and I think is the true snub of the postseason awards. Until Nash gets the MVP, of course.