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2013 Midseason "Awards" -- Pelicans, Yachts, and Reagents abound!

Everyone seems to be doing it, right? We've reached the rough halfway point of the 2013 season and I -- Editor in Chief, Viscount of Nottinghamshire, Aaron McGuire (the Man in Esquire) -- have decided to kick off our mid-year award picks. Armed with just the acronyms of the NBA's six mainstay awards, I quickly discovered that I had absolutely no idea what any of those acronyms meant. After briefly considering looking them up, I decided instead to make up awards off the top of my head and hope they roughly matched actual awards that existed. They're close, right? Tell me they're close. TELL ME THEY'RE CLOSE.

MVP -- Most Valuable Pelican
The much-ballyhooed MVP award is awarded yearly to the most valuable Pelican in the entire league. The process of choosing this award was made significantly easier when the Hornets changed their name to the Pelicans. Thanks, New Orleans!
greivis vasquez 1. Greivis Vasquez
2. Anthony Davis
3. Eric Gordon
4. Ryan Anderson
5. Brian Roberts
Aaron McGuire: I'm tempted to go with Anthony Davis, because he's their best player so far and their most important big. But I can't. He's missed too many games. So I'll go with a pick I never would've seen coming a year ago -- their steady hand at the point, Greivis Vasquez. The man has accumulated the 2nd most assists in the NBA to date and he's producing markedly more efficient offense than he ever has in his life. He's played in every game, with virtually no depth behind him, which mitigates the difference in quality between him and Davis. He's doing phenomenal work, here.
anthony davis 1. Anthony Davis
2. Ryan Anderson
3. Eric Gordon
4. Greivis Vasquez
5. Brian Roberts
Alex Dewey: Anthony Davis. Brian Roberts is the narrative pick, Greivis Vasquez is the "relative to expectations" pick, Ryan Anderson is the most productive (whatever that means), Eric Gordon is the "best player on the best team", and Anthony Davis is the best player. So Anthony Davis. Bonus points to Austin Rivers and Roger Mason Jr. for causing opposing coaches to burn their eyes out (or have a mysterious illness just before the game), which gives an opening for Monty to dominate the coaching battle.
ryan anderson 1. Ryan Anderson
2. Greivis Vasquez
3. Eric Gordon
4. Anthony Davis
5. Robin Lopez
Adam Koscielak: If not for the injuries, it would've been between Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis. But I'll have to say Ryan Anderson. The man brings them a stable presence from deep, rebounds well enough, and spreads the floor enough to make Robin Lopez look competent every once in a while. Making Robin Lopez look good for even a second warrants an award, I think.

Hit the jump for more awards, including ROTY, 6MOTY, COTY, DPOY, and MIP.

• • •

ROTY: Reagent of the Year
Remember your high school chemistry? Me neither! But according to my years-old AP Chem notes, a reagent is a substance added to a system to produce a chemical reaction. That makes sense! This widely loved award is awarded to the player who's had the most positive catalytic impact on their new team. Traditionally it's awarded to rookies. I don't get it!
jason kidd 1. Jason Kidd
2. Jamal Crawford
3. Andre Drummond
4. Jarrett Jack
5. Jacque Vaughn
Aaron McGuire: While I love what Jamal Crawford has done with the Clippers -- and didn't expect it at all -- I can't really say anyone but Jason Kidd in good conscience. Most people have conveniently forgotten that the Knicks were predicted to be a 5-8 seed team in the preseason. Tyson Chandler's defense has been somewhat disappointing, and they've dealt with some pretty big injuries. But the Knicks have stayed afloat (and done better than that!) behind an astonishingly unexpected renaissance from a man who's had about 5 of them already. Kidd has completely changed the complexion of an already-good Knicks offense, and if it wasn't for his versatility, I'm really not sure where these defensively awful Knicks would be right now.
jarrett jack 1. Jarrett Jack
2. Jamal Crawford
3. Andre Drummond
4. Andrei Kirilenko
5. Jason Kidd
Alex Dewey: Gotta be Jarrett Jack - Sitting at 5th in the West, 11 games above .500, the Hornets have dominated the regular season so far on the amazingly balanced contributions provided by Anthony Davis*, Jarrett Jack**, a restored Eric Gordon***, along with young upstarts Greivis Vasquez**** and Brian Roberts*****. Despite Austin Rivers****** looking not quite NBA-ready, the Hornets are thriving. It's hard to imagine where the Hornets would be if they had done something foolish, like given Jarrett Jack to the Golden State Warriors for pennies on the dollar.

*David Lee
**Jarrett Jack
***Steph Curry
****Klay Thompson
*****Draymond Green
******Festus Ezeli

jamal crawford 1. Jamal Crawford
2. Damian Lillard
3. James Harden
4. Alexey Shved
5. P.J. Carlesimo
Adam Koscielak: This is me eating crow. Jamal Crawford. Somehow. He's been a perfect fit to the Clippers, making their bench one of the most dangerous in the league. His shaking, baking and ill-advised jumper taking (heyo, Walt Frazier!) is a perfect counter-balance to Chris Paul's deliberate game. He's the yin to Paul's yang. He's a Mentos in a coke bottle. And to think I chose him as worst newcomer for ESPN's Summer Forecast. (That's the sound of my palm hitting my face.)

• • •

6MOTY: Sixth Man of the Year
In the U.S. Presidential Line of Succession, the Secretary of Defense is the "sixth man" in line. Lay it on me straight, friends -- if you had to pick an NBA player or coach to fill Leon Panetta's squeaky, vacant shoes and take up their role as our president's "sixth man", who would you pick?
joel anthony 1. Joel Anthony
2. Tim Duncan
3. Kevin Garnett
4. Gregg Popovich
5. Stephen Jackson
Aaron McGuire: One of the problems inherent in a hyper-partisan congress is that you really aren't going to make much headway with any sort of controversial pick. I mean, I love Kevin Garnett's defense, but imagine trying to get him through senate hearings. Just isn't happening. Popovich is too much of a liberal for the Tea Party caucus, and Spencer Hawes would bomb his neighbors. No thanks. I'll go with the most conservative pick I can, then -- welcome to the cabinet, Joel Anthony. May your appointment be as uneventful as your two minutes of playing time in last year's finals.
shane battier 1. Shane Battier
2. Grant Hill
3. Chris Duhon
4. Carlos Boozer
5. Kyrie Irving
Alex Dewey: Gregg Popovich, because he can see the future. But it would be political suicide to appoint him! So I won't. Grant Hill or Shane Battier would be much easier confirmations. Such nice young men. They went to Duke and have probably never personally overseen the Air Force coup of an extraterrestrial planet. They've never coached a team of young military prodigies in space, forcibly removed from their families from birth, to destroy a Borg-like empire with devastating efficiency, only thereafter having their minds wiped before being placed into Golden State to coach basketball professionally the rest of their days. Neither of these players, that is to say, is Gregg Popovich. That gives them a fresh political start. Shane Battier gets the tiebreaker... because of his defense. [Ed. Note: Alex, why.]
gregg_popovich 1. Gregg Popovich
2. Chris Kaman
3. David West
4. Ivan Johnson
5. Tim Duncan
Adam Koscielak: Well, at first I wanted to say it's Steve Nash, but then I realized he's too much of a pacifist. Then, I thought of Kobe, but decided against it, after realizing Kobe would probably advise foreign powers to "count da nukezzz" and launch an apocalyptic chain of events. And then, I remembered Gregg Popovich has ties with the CIA and might actually be an action flick hero. He'd probably be the next Sun Tzu if given charge of an army. Trojan horses, surprise attacks and all. Perfect candidate.

• • •

COTY: Coach of the Yacht
What recently fired/retired coach will have the most success in becoming a yacht aficionado in his second career? Alternatively: success in simply becoming a yacht. (Note: includes departed coaches from 2012 & 2011.)
avery johnson 1. Avery Johnson
2. Alvin Gentry
3. Mike Brown
4. Jay Triano
5. Nate McMillan
Aaron McGuire: There are a lot of obvious answers here, but I'd like to go a bit off kilter and suggest that Avery Johnson would have the most success as a future yacht-based entrepreneur. My reasons? He sounds like Popeye, who's... like, a sailor, man. Also, he's known in Spurs circles as "little general", which indicates he has the leadership chops to successfully lead the yacht to victory. On the minus side, he's a abject Lovecraftian horror as a coach.
mike brown 1. Mike Brown
2. Mike D'Antoni
3. Phil Jackson
4. Alvin Gentry
5. Mike Woodson
Alex Dewey: Mike Brown. Easy. Hard-working, yachtesque, husky-skipper-walk is perfected, has experience coaching Stephen Jackson in two locations, military background, knows how to upset Kobe Bryant solely by working too hard, knows how to bring Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to tears with a single word, knows every play and offense that has ever been run, navigational wizard, a true original, and inscrutably unfathomable in his ultimate power. His laughter is a basilisk of sound. The only problem is it's too easy: Mike Brown would actually be the Admiral of the Navy.
alvin gentry 1. Alvin Gentry
2. Stan Van Gundy
3. Phil Jackson
4. Avery Johnson
5. Scott Skiles
Adam Koscielak: Well, I'm a sentimental guy, so I really have to go with recently fired Alvin Gentry. He'd make a fine yacht captain, m'kay-ing every single order he'd make, launching into angry tirades after his faithful assistant (Thunder) Dan Majerle forgot to adjust the sails for the thirtieth time that day, and in off-time sitting down and leaving sad messages on Steve Nash's and Grant Hill's voicemail. It must be noted that when writing this, I'd imagined Stan van Gundy in a captain's hat, and decided to give him co-ownership of this award.

• • •

DPOY: Dread Pall of the Year
Which coach or player do you think opposing teams dread the most? Either for general churlishness, player quality, play style, whatever. Who does everyone hate to play?
thibs 1. Tom Thibodeau
2. Pat Riley
3. Manu Ginobili
4. Reggie Evans
5. Kevin Garnett
Aaron McGuire: This one's a little tough. Lot of different angles to take. I'm going to go to the coach side of the ledger and tap Tom Thibodeau. Reasons should be somewhat obvious, but to put it succinctly -- Thibodeau's teams have been a massive pain in the butt to play for 5-6 years running. First the dynasty Celtics, whose defensive legend knows scant compare, and now with the Chicago Bulls he's keeping the annoying train running on-time. His players like him, but he plays them into the ground and grinds the other team's effort into dust. I'd be shocked if there was anyone in the league that actually enjoys trying to score against a Thibodeau team. SHOCKED.
eric gordon 1. Eric Gordon
2. Kyrie Irving
3. LeBron James
4. Kevin Durant
5. Andre Miller
Alex Dewey: I'll go with Eric Gordon. Everyone that follows basketball even just a little knows that Kobe/Duncan/Melo/KG/Durant will take your lunch money, and there are times when an elite coach does the same. But Eric Gordon is in an odd sort of arbitrage where he's just about in the stratosphere of these players in quality but not in recognition. Even Steph Curry/Kyrie/James Harden/Anthony Davis have stories and gimmicks and there's a good chance your random fan off the street has heard of them. Heck, I'm guessing Nate Robinson and Glen Davis get some daps when they walk down a busy street. The Pacers were in Parks and Rec! But if you lose to Eric Gordon? Eric friggin' Gordon? No matter how great he turns out to be, you've lost to Eric Gordon. Who? Eric Gordon, man. You probably didn't see him coming, not to that extent, but you knew he was pretty good. Not that good, though! And you're left explaining how good Eric Gordon is. Might just be a Spurs/Lakers thing, though. Because he kills those teams, for reasons unknown.
chris paul 1. Chris Paul
2. LeBron James
3. Kevin Durant
4. Kevin Garnett
5. Tim Duncan
Adam Koscielak: The obvious answer would be LeBron or Kevin Durant, but I'm going to go with Chris Paul. The man has obvious skill, but he's also a trash talking, flopping menace on the floor. He'll make your blood boil. And then he's going to give you a hug, tell you you've played a good day and invite you to your house to play Monopoly or something. Try not losing your temper knowing the dude beats you in basketball AS WELL AS Monopoly, Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit.

• • •

MIP: Most Infuriating Player
Let's end it with a simple one. Out of all the players in the league, which player has infuriated their team's fanbase the most this season? Whether from injury, general tendency towards being a capricious manchild, or the worst play that a man could imagine.
dwight howard 1. Dwight Howard
2. Pau Gasol
3. Michael Beasley
4. Andrew Bynum
5. Josh Smith
Aaron McGuire: Dwight Howard is the only person allowed to win this award in my book. I know exactly zero Laker fans that aren't completely and utterly disenfranchised by Dwight's capricious moaning. It's at the point where most Laker fans I know are actively wondering if it'd be better to trade Dwight or Gasol. Mull on that for a moment. Dwight Howard has been such an infuriating feckless twat that many Laker fans are actually defending Pau Gasol. Shock and awe. Honorable mention to Gasol, Beasley, Bynum and Josh Smith -- all players who would be mortal locks for this award in a non-Dwight season.
pau gasol 1. Pau Gasol
2. Dwight Howard
3. Michael Beasley
4. Chris Kaman
5. Brandon Jennings
Alex Dewey: Pau Gasol -- It's not really fair but it is what it is. Pau is probably injured, certainly derided, poorly-managed, and poorly-led. Doesn't get credit for his greatness and gets his flaws magnified by everybody. But this isn't a question about validity. When it comes to annoying his fanbase? "Gasoft" takes the cake.
michael_beasley 1. Michael Beasley
2. Andrea Bargnani
3. Dwight Gasoward
4. Andrew Bynum
5. JaVale McGee
Adam Koscielak: If it isn't Michael Beasley, I don't know if these awards have a point. [Ed. Note: They don't.] I mean, yes, there's always Andrea Bargnani. At least he had the common decency to injure himself! As a Suns fan, I can tell you that when Beasley steps up to the scorers table, I get nauseous. And then, when he plays well, I feel even more nauseous! Because I see how much better he could be, if he had the tiniest iota of self-awareness. But that's too much for a brain devoured by joints. Oh, and his contract? That's 3 years, 18 million... Screw Beasley, is what I'm saying.

• • •

What do YOU think? Let us know your picks for the "awards" in the comments below.

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Aaron McGuire
Editor in Chief at Gothic Ginobili
Aaron McGuire works as the lead mathematician and CTO for a small financial consulting firm in Richmond, VA. As a basketball writer, he's primarily known for Gothic Ginobili's 2012 Player Capsule series, where he wrote the equivalent of 1.5 Russian novels about every NBA player around. Nowadays, he writes a weekly column on whatever he damn well feels like.

11 thoughts on “2013 Midseason "Awards" -- Pelicans, Yachts, and Reagents abound!

      1. Dwight Howard went from near-MVP in 2011 to petulant, injured Andrew Bynum, with some confused pity thrown in. Ugh.

        Pau Gasol went from near-MVP in 2011 to confused, pitiful Richard Jefferson, with some petulance and injury thrown in. Frig.

        I would say as a whole we as sports fans have more fury for the second situation, though the depths of Dwight's defining characteristics are so much stronger. It's a tricky question.

        While I'm making these parallel constructions, I'd also like to note briefly that ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope.

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