Winning a major award in the NBA is extremely difficult so it’s a great honor to be chosen for any of the major awards in a season. Whether it's for Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year, or Most Valuable Player, each recipient battled against tough competition to receive the honor.
But every award-giving body is limited only by the categories it wishes to recognize. And since we feel that there are much more unforgettable individuals and performances worthy of recognition, FHM brings you NBA's 2017-2018 season Fail Awards (all in good fun, of course).
Questionable Decisions Award: Pat Riley, Miami Heat
Maybe Pat Riley's last offseason was an anomaly from the usually savvy former coach, but it was still definitely bad. Even without taking into account the extension for Hassan Whiteside, Riley had questionable contracts given out to role players Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk. Riley left Miami cash-strapped for this offseason for players with limited ceilings and almost no upside left. Add that they have no draft pick for this year to show for and Riley really left them in a financial pickle.
Most Detrimental Coach: Jason Kidd, Milwaukee Bucks
Jason Kidd was a great player and was on his way to becoming a decent coach in the NBA handling Milwaukee in the 2016-2017 season. 2017-2018, however, was a different story.
The Bucks were considered a dark horse by many pundits before the season began but hopes for a deep playoff run were immediately quashed. Even with an all-NBA talent in Giannis Antetekoumpo and a slew of athletically gifted role players, the Bucks underachieved with their talent not matching the results.
Most of the blame went to Kidd and rightfully so as his system, particularly on defense, was horrible. His team with the constant half-court pressure opened up loads of space for any offense to exploit with Kidd refusing to adjust his system even if it was obviously not working.
Cliff Dive Award: Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
Whiteside is good at blocking shots, rebounding, and...that's it. He was a burgeoning star in 2016-2017, looking to cement himself as a top center in the NBA. Fast forward to last season where we saw him almost always benched during crucial minutes.
Today, Whiteside is an empty stat center that rebounds well and chases blocks to the detriment of team defense. He offers basically no range in his offense and almost never passes the ball.
'Why Is He In The Game?' Award: Jamal Crawford, Minnesota Timberwolves
Armed with some of the best handles ever seen in the NBA and an ability to catch fire at any moment, Jamal Crawford was such an entertaining player in his prime. However, with the game using analytics more and more, we see Crawford in the way we should have seen him before, an inefficient shoot-only player who hurts his team more than he helps.
He should just be playing in a veteran leadership role or as a spot-up shooter, not as a primary ball handler in second units. J Crossover may have been named Twyman Stokes Teammate of the Year, but that doesn't mean he should actually be on the court.
Un-Defensive Player Of the Year: Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
JR Smith almost earned this award for that one play in the finals. But in all fairness to JR, he's a good defender who just loses focuses from time to time.
Andrew Wiggins doesn't seem to have any semblance of focus at all. Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson were supposed to bring the veteran leadership and hard-nosed defensive intensity that would improve Karl Anthony Towns and Wiggins on the defensive end. The plan didn't seem to work as both are still pretty bad defenders, but at least Towns tries. Wiggins just doesn't look like he cares on the defensive end.
Senior Citizen Of the Year: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
This should actually be a real award, considering how hard it is to stave off Father Time.
Dirk deserves the award because he's still a hyper-efficient offensive player who isn't slowing down at the same rate as his contemporaries. Many things help him to succeed, of course, Rick Carlisle is an amazing coach with a system that optimizes the talents of his players. But even if you disregard Carlisle's system, Dirk still delivers.
Least Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook is an admittedly great player. Blessed with unparalleled athleticism and ferocity, he usually gets his way on the court. But is his way actually good for his team?
The advanced metrics say he is inefficient, takes too many ill-advised shots and turns the ball over a ton. He commandeers too many possessions and is often loses sight of his teammates.