When All-Star weekend in Orlando came to an end last month, a quality event was lost amid all the chatter about the slam dunk debacle and the game that didn’t get interesting until the waning minutes: the annual Professional Basketball Writers Association awards.
The tireless and talented NBA scribes who cover this game for a living get together at All Stars every year to hand out the hardware, and I was certainly honored to be among those having this fancy trophy sent to his house. Yet while the work was acknowledged privately, I decided belatedly that it’d be worth taking a moment here to acknowledge it publicly.
Do yourself a favor and read all of these pieces, then follow all of the writers on Twitter (links on names) since these stories are hardly aberrations. There are three categories (Game story, Column, Feature) and three places (with one unique exception that is explained below). Thanks to PBWA president Doug Smith, VP Steve Aschburner, and Treasurer Rich Dubroff for all you do as well.
1 Marc Stein, ESPN.com on Dirk Nowitzki Game 6 finals
2 Mark Woods, ESPN.com on EuroBasket gold medal game
3 Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune for Game 4 Blazers-Mavs
1 Kevin Ding, Orange County Register on Kobe Bryant
2 Henry Abbott, ESPN.com on Kobe in clutch
* (Fran Blinebury of NBA.com initially won in this category, but his piece barely missed the cut in terms of having a 2011 publication date. Nonetheless, his story on Yao Ming is absolutely worth enjoying –
1 Darnell Mayberry, Oklahoman on Russell Westbrook
2 Scott Howard Cooper, NBA.com on Bismack Biyombo
3 Sam Amick, SI.com on Adam Morrison