LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Luka Doncic just make up a couple of the high-profile names that did not receive a first-place vote for the MVP Award this season. Derrick Rose, on the other hand, did.
THE WINDY CITY ASSASSIN IS BACK BABY!
With the first Kia NBA MVP Award of his career, Nikola Jokić becomes the first player to earn the honor as a member of the @nuggets. He received 91 of the 101 first-place votes.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 8, 2021
• Fine. I’m kidding. While Rose certainly carved himself quite the role in New York this season, his appearance on the MVP ballot is nothing more than some fans having fun. Here is what the NBA wrote in their press release: “For the 12th consecutive season, the NBA and Kia America gave fans the opportunity to vote for the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award. The fan vote conducted online and through Twitter, counted as one vote toward determining the winner.” As NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson pointed out last night, this was where Rose’s one first-place vote came from. Still, this goes to show just how much weight his name carries in the league. The 32-year-old has written quite the story for himself over his 13 seasons, and I’m very curious to see how that story continues in 2021-22 as he hits the unrestricted free agency waters.
• I’ve been asked many times whether I believe the Bulls should reunite with Rose, and I suspect I’ll be asked many more times in the future. My opinion on the matter is rather simple: Rose is not the best fit for what this team needs. Not only do the Bulls need a high-caliber table-setting point guard to run alongside their two All-Stars (Rose assist-to-usage sat at .96 with the Knicks, which ranked in only the 23rd percentile), but they also need an above-average defender. I can see the allure of Rose running the second unit, but Coby White is bound to be the sparkplug sixth man this team needs. If a Rose reunion happened, I would most definitely welcome it with open arms, but I do think figuring out his exact role would be a challenge, and the Bulls might be better suited spending the money elsewhere.
• Arturas Karnisovas got a little more clout on Tuesday night. His former 41st-overall draft pick with the Denver Nuggets became the lowest drafted player ever to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Nikola Jokic also ended a long drought for his position, becoming the first center since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 to take home the honor.
NBA MVP'S By Position.
Jokic just ended a 21-year-long drought for centers. pic.twitter.com/6kle3lI6la
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) June 9, 2021
• Jokic is the epitome of a unicorn, so whether or not this has a long-lasting impact on the league will be something only time will tell. With that said, I do think we have started to see a rebirth of the center position. Whether it be Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bam Adebayo, or Nikola Vucevic, we are seeing far more versatile centers. All those names possess the ability to bulldoze guys down low and crash the boards hard, but they have added the court vision and jumper into their game. Vucevic is a great example of this evolution. As we’ve noted before, this is a guy who went from shooting a combined 26 three-pointers (on a 26.9 percent clip) over his first five seasons in the league to eventually taking 440 this past season and sinking 40 percent. Likewise, Vucevic is coming off a career-high in assists per game (3.8). When a nearly seven-foot player can offer a combination of physicality and finesse … it can be deadly.
• International players are also taking the league by storm. Could Vasilije Micic be next!?
• Last night basketball fans were blessed with a miracle: A legitimately entertaining mic’d-up clip.
Donovan Mitchell: “They played a Game 7 two days ago. It’s all how we start this quarter. They’ll call it quits and get ready for Game 2 if we make them.” pic.twitter.com/s9lKT1svvl
— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) June 9, 2021
• Seriously, where have these little tidbits been? Most of the time we are just handed Mike Malone yelling things like, “there we go” or “speed up” or “nice.” I know teams have to approve all the material that goes out, but why not consistently approve things like this? These aren’t inside secrets!
Quin Snyder talks to Donovan Mitchell pic.twitter.com/1qje8fdfC3
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 9, 2021
• Let’s just say, I’m not surprised.
NEWS: Data suggests that injuries (especially soft-tissue injuries) soared in the 2020-21 NBA season, and team health officials/execs say the carry-over effects will drive how player health is managed next season, too. Story with the great @kpelton: https://t.co/1iF4ok79Sh
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) June 8, 2021
• I mean, this Patrick Williams block was one of the best plays of the season.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 8, 2021