Warning: this isn’t a light read. You may even get a headache from it. I got a headache writing this. I’m also recovering from finals week!
The NBA Awards by TNT will be held Monday, June 25 at 9pm. Awards include Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, and many more. A lot of people are upset about how Brad Stevens didn’t receive any votes for Coach of the Year, as he made it to the Conference Finals with a pretty broken team, but I’m a little more shocked about everyone wooing over Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year. The way that the media is buzzing about him, you’d think he created the game of basketball.
ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe says the top three rookies are Ben Simmons, followed by Donovan Mitchell, then Jayson Tatum. He then goes on to write (read here) 10 paragraphs about Simmons and Mitchell, and literally only talks about Tatum TWICE. I’m here to give Jayson Tatum some justice.
I’m not here to spew stats at you, you can Google that yourselves. I understand that there are a lot of exterior factors in becoming Rookie of the Year, but it’s fun to play around and look at things in a new light. So, let’s set the stage for what I am going to do- Players A, B, and C are all really young and really good at basketball. Since they all come from different teams with different situations, it’s best to compare them to see how they do facing each other. Read slowly, use a tally system or a calculator, do what you have to do to follow along here:
Player A vs Player B
Player A’s team gets beaten by Player B’s team twice in November. Both times, Player B scores a lot more than Player A. Who’s better? Player B
Player B vs Player C
Player B’s team loses to Player C’s team in October, and Player C outscores Player B. Again in November, Player C’s team beats Player B’s team, and they both score 15 points that game. Who’s better? Player C
Player A vs Player C
Player A’s team beats Player C’s team in December. Player A has 17 points and Player C has 7. In March, Player C’s team beats Player A. Player A has 22 points and Player C has 16. Player C’s team is also missing two major All-Stars from the roster that night. In January, Player C’s team beats Player B’s team and they both score 16 that game. Player B’s team beats Player C’s team once in January, but Player C outscores Player B. Who’s better? Player C
Now, that was only the regular season. Player A’s team gets eliminated from the playoffs. Player A scores 241. Player B and Player C match up in the playoffs and Player C’s team KILLS Player B’s team. Player B scores 163 points in the playoffs and Player C scores 272 points in the playoffs. Who’s best? Player C.
Player A is Donovan Mitchell.
Player B is Ben Simmons.
Player C is Jayson Tatum.
Need I say more?
Image via Boston Herald.
P.S. You can cast your Fan Vote here for some other categories, like Dunk of the Year, Clutch Shot of the Year, Assist of the Year, etc., but in the end the Sponsor (Kia) declares the winner. Votes on nba.com are limited to one vote per day per category. You can also vote on Twitter using a hashtag system also explained in the link above.