Arturas Karnisovas was snubbed, folks.
The Chicago Bulls’ front office leader finished tied for second place in the 2021-22 Executive of the Year voting this season. The NBA announced on Thursday that Memphis Grizzlies GM Zach Kleiman took home the honor behind 16 first-place votes and 85 total points. Karnisovas received just one first-place vote and a total of 27 points, which tied him with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Koby Altman for the 2nd slot.
NBA team basketball executives have selected Memphis Grizzlies Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Zach Kleiman as the winner of the 2021-22 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award, the NBA announced today.
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 12, 2022
All things considered, it’s hard to throw any shade on the Memphis Grizzlies’ season. The organization rose toward the top of the Western Conference and finished with the NBA’s 2nd-most wins (56). Even more impressive, while superstar Ja Morant carried the team, the roster as a whole showed how balanced they were with a 20-5 record without Morant this year.
Still, a Grizzlies rise emerged on the horizon last season after they cracked the playoffs with a successful Play-In Tournament appearance. If we’re looking strictly at year-over-year improvement, it does appear as if Arturas Karnisovas pulled off the most impressive turnaround.
I recognize I’m biased in that assessment, but landing DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso while winning the most games since the 2014-15 season feels like a job worth an Executive of the Year Award. The second half of the season may have been a bummer, but the Bulls also did sit atop the East for a strong portion of the season.
Oh well. I guess if a quick first-round exit wasn’t enough, this should only add to the front office’s motivation to put together another impactful offseason.