Fake First-Quarter Awards: Most Woke Coach, Biggest Flop And More
It’s past the quarter mark of the NBA season, which is really an arbitrary point if you think about it. Why don’t we care about the three-eighths mark as much as the quarter mark? Three-eighths has been a slept on fraction for our entire lives. And it works for the NBA too! Three-eighths of 82 is basically 30 games, which seems like a good, cool number to start making sweeping conclusions.
Alas, because other marking points don’t get as much love as they deserve, we’re going to hand out some random awards in honor of the NBA season being 25% over. The Crossover’s super-serious actual award preview will come out at a later day. Until then, here’s something I put together while enjoying the scent of a leather, sandalwood and tobacco candle.
Best Social Media Post
Our first award goes to Chandler Parsons, who acknowledged both Mavericks fans and his Bachelor-level looks in this Instagram post after his first game back in Dallas.
While we don’t know if Parsons actually checked his DMs or not—I like to think he and Mark Cuban invited the fan to one of their Hangover-esque parties—we do know that 76ers center Joel Embiid, uh, encouraged Chandler to rendezvous with the young woman in the photo. This post, as the kids would say, had levels to it.
Runner-Up: LeBron James roasting Kevin Love for shoes Love wore in high school.
Biggest F.U. Performance
DeMar DeRozan, who has been lighting up the NBA this season after SI ranked him No. 46 in its list of the Top 100 players in basketball. DeRozan recently said SI lost all credibility after releasing its list, and I imagine this article handing out fake awards won’t exactly help the situation. Either way, hopefully this honor finally mends fences between the magazine and DeRozan.
Also, Toronto should be thanking us! DeMar has always been talented, but this year we gave the push he needed to be great. It will be interesting to see if DeRozan can keep up his torrid scoring pace for the rest of the season. Even if we look worse every time DeRozan hits yet another midrange jumper, the NBA needs more players who are blatantly out for revenge.
Runner-Up: LeBron James for his waterbottle flip against the Knicks.
Biggest Conspiracy Theorist
This award has to go to Andrew Bogut, who maybe almost believed the Pizza-gate conspiracy being pushed by the people charitably known as the alt-right. Bogut has always been, er, outspoken on Twitter, but this time he certainly went too far. (And it’s not the first time! Bogut’s gone on some rants before, one time even earning a “WYD” tweet from his employer.) Andrew, my man, I'll let you in on a little secret we toss around in the media business: Never tweet.
Runner-Up: Now that Ayesha Curry is laying low, Bogut is kind of on his own here.
Most Woke Coach
This was the toughest award to hand out. Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich and Stan Van Gundy all made compelling cases thanks to their well-thought out responses to the election of a reality TV star as our next president. Van Gundy also kept his third eye all the way open when discussing Phil Jackson’s posse comments in regards to LeBron James. Still, the award is going to Kerr, who edges out the other coaches after admitting he used marijuana to deal with the pain from back surgery. Kerr is refreshingly with the times, so much so that I half-expect him to pop up as a guest on Vice's Desus and Mero.
It is notable to me how much we applaud coaches for their outspoken stances, when athletes who do the same are often treated with a little bit more hostility. Nonetheless, I’m happy to honor Kerr, who may or may not have been lighting up while Luke Walton was adding a bunch of wins to his career record last season. Speaking of Luke Walton, no, Luke, you can’t win this award only by smoking some weed.
Runners-Up: Stan Van Gundy and Gregg Popovich for their strong stances.
Best Marcus Smart Flop
I begrudgingly love Marcus Smart. He’s a completely shameless flopper, annoying-as-all-hell defender and bricky shooter, but I want him on my team. Smart is cut from the cloth of a Bruce Bowen or Udonis Haslem, the kinds of players who will always mean more to their home fans than other people realize. You may hate Smart whenever your team plays the Celtics, but I’m willing to bet deep down there’s a part of every NBA fan who wants someone like him on their team.
The best Smart flop from this season occurred in November at New Orleans. Here, Smart blatantly flops in a way that really defies physics. Smart gets dunked on by Solomon Hill, but inexplicably falls to his right as opposed to straight back, which is what should happen in this situation if there was actually significant contact. What makes this flop truly special is that the referee falls for it, and Boston was awarded the ball instead of giving up two points.
Runner-Up: This Superman-esque flop against Houston.