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The NBA Highlights and Lowlights of the Year

<p>Recognizing the NBA's nice and naughty list of players this season</p>
| May 20, 2010
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We’re way too deep into the Playoffs and the NBA is actually down to its last four teams. We are now aware that Cleveland’s LeBron James has been awarded his second consecutive MVP award, Orlando’s Dwight Howard is now a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, and Kings Guard Tyreke Evans edged out two other hopefuls to become the NBA Rookie of the Year.

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Dig in a little deeper with the stats sheet and you'd recognize that Atlanta marksman Jamal Crawford snagged the Sixth Man of the Year honors, and Houston’s Aaron Brooks finished the season as this year’s Most Improved Player.

Congratulations, gentlemen. But with hundreds of NBA players vying for something monumental year after year, and nothing short this season, frankly any recognition will do. Even our silly made-up NBA awards.

Check out our infamous recap of the highs and lows of this season’s basketball festivities, and recognize them for all its worth. Or not.

The Erick Dampier Award for Most Overpaid Player of the Year: Jermaine O’Neal, Miami Heat
With a massive salary of $23 million this season, it’s just fair to expect a bigger game from the Miami center. Except, for the hurt and aging big man, it's not physically possible to do so.

In all fairness to Jermaine and the Heat, his expiring contract stemmed from years ago, back when O’Neal was still a dominant force below.

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At only 13 points and 7.5 rebounds a contest, we’re thinking he’ll get a decent pay-cut come off-season. Toronto Raptors’ resident party boy Hedo Turkoglu comes in second, with undeserving numbers of 11.3 points and 4.6 rebounds against his $10 million salary this season. Oh, what a contract year can do to a player.

The David Lee Award for Most Underpaid Player of the Year: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
Anybody who hasn’t seen Rondo’s game this season matched with his salary is about to be sincerely educated. With a field goal percentage high above the .500% mark with 13 points and 9 assists per game, Rondo should be making a little bit more than his $2.6 million this season.

And if you’re still not down with that, attack this: his performance in the NBA Playoffs escalated to 17 points and 11 assists, along with a triple double performance (29 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists) against the Cavaliers barely a week ago.

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If his averages don’t get him a bigger paycheck, this record-breaking Playoff performance will:


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