Welcome to the first annual Oddschecker Superfluous NBA Awards. Where we'll be commemorating the moments won’t see at the NBA Awards Ceremony, but probably care more about anyway.
Another fantastic NBA regular season is finally in the books. Like a college student eating shredded cheese straight from the bag at 2 in the morning, we’ve shamelessly stuffed ourselves with six months of incredible basketball content. But since the NBA moved its annual awards until after the postseason, we’ve had to wait months to commemorate the best moments of the season…until now. Presenting, the first annual NBA Superfluous Awards—eight awards we wish the NBA would hand out:
MVT (Most Valuable Tank)
Given to the team or individual who best demonstrated, with creativity and passion, the honorable pursuit of losing basketball games on purpose.
To lose a game being up by 3, with possession, with 8 seconds left is no easy task, but the Pelicans made it look like a walk in the park. After a 5-second violation, not fouling Josh Jackson before he could drill the game-tying 3, and getting a technical after calling a timeout they didn’t have, the Pelicans were able to yank the valuable loss from the Suns’ grasp in stunning, artistic fashion. Bravo!
Given to the individual who, after receiving little to no contact, best imitated being shot with a 12-gauge from point blank.
Winner: Joel Embiid
There are flops like Joel’s in almost any NBA game, but what makes this one stand out is the surrounding contextual pieces. In a hall-of-fame five-second span, Embiid uses a slick move to put his team up in the final minute, then with inhuman reflexes notices Drummond’s elbow in the vicinity of his body and flails across the paint, earning the Sixers a technical free-throw, and most importantly, ejecting Drummond. When the stakes are high, nobody trolls like Joel.
Reverse Coach of the Year
Given to the coach who displayed everything that the Coach of the Year did except the exact opposite.
Winner: Jim Boylen
Hired midseason to replace Fred Hoiberg, Jim Boylen decided that the best way for the Bulls to turn their season around was to pretend they were a high school varsity team about to play for the state championship. After countless suicides and pushups at practice (after a back-to-back mind you), the Bulls revolted and had to form a leadership committee. If your players feel compelled to form a leadership committee you are automatically the worst coach in the NBA.
Given to the individual who wore shoes most like what it would look like if a toddler created custom shoes for a MyPlayer on NBA 2k.Winner:
Players are getting more and more audacious with their footwear, which is a really fun and exciting part of the NBA, but also makes it hard to decipher what is pushing the envelope and what is just bad. These are just bad.
Given to the team or individual who best made you feel like you must have so terribly and irreversibly wronged someone in your youth that the universe is punishing you by making you watch this moment.
Winner: Kawhi Leonard
Is he laughing? Is it a mating call? Is he an alien sending a coded message about the impending doom of our planet?
Most Surprising Moment
Given to the individual(s) who did something so unbelievably incredible that you had to google them to make sure they’re really a part of the NBA and not part of some foundation where a fan gets to put on a jersey and play some minutes in a game or something.
Winner: Alex Caruso
Alex Caruso will never not look out of place on an NBA court, so watching him soar for an emphatic put-back dunk was like seeing Big-Foot. The dumbfounded reactions of other players, predominantly LeBron, are a joy to watch. The best part, though, is Kevin Harlan exclaiming, “You cannot stop him, you can only hope to contain him!” It’s the perfect, most Kevin Harlan way to make a moment unforgettable. Kevin and Alex are national treasures.
Most Embarrassing Moment
Given to the individual(s) who best made you feel like you wish you could trade a year of your life just to be able to reverse time for them so they could have a do-over.
Winner: Hamidou Diallo
After getting a steal, leading to a wide-open fastbreak—which is a very great thing to happen to someone who can jump like Hamidou Diallo—he whiffed on a flashy, windmill dunk, losing the ball on the way up. This is the most embarrassing moment because Diallo is only good at one thing, dunking, and he couldn’t even get that right in a game.
***Honorable Mention: Steph Curry
As if slipping and falling on a wide-open fastbreak isn’t embarrassing enough, Steph decided to get up and hustle to the corner so he could air-ball a 3. A rough 4 seconds for the greatest shooter of all time. The only reason he didn’t get the award is because when you make almost 2,500 threes in 10 years, you get to air-ball a couple.
Most Disrespectful Moment
Given to the individual(s) who disrespected a player so unremorsefully that you feel compelled to call their family to check in on them weekly.
Winner: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Not only does Giannis back down Simmons and dunk all over his feelings and goals and aspirations, but he calls him a baby after. Being called a baby is way, way up there on the list of things that you’d never think would be so disrespectful until you’re called one by an angry 7-foot Greek man. Only semi-related, here’s a super cute video of Giannis asking Russell Westbrook if he can hold his baby.
***Honorable mention: James Harden
James Harden is an endless highlight reel of humiliating crossovers, but they never get any less entertaining. There’s a few really disrespectful things to break down here: 1) he calls off the screen, which means he already knows he about to devastate Murray, 2) after dropping Murray to the floor with an impossibly quick behind-the-back dribble, he pauses just so Murray can come back to contest and jump into his landing space, 3) by baiting him into a foul that isn’t really a foul but is going to be called a foul anyway, Harden drills the 3-pointer and subsequent free throw to make it a four-point play. Tough stretch for Jamal Murray; business as usual for James Harden.