And the (PBWA) winners are….

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.

Game story

1 Marc Stein, ESPN.com on Dirk Nowitzki Game 6 finals
http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=6655647&type=story

2 Mark Woods, ESPN.com on EuroBasket gold medal game
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/EuroBasket-110918/eurobasket-ibaka-gets-blocking-helps-give-spain-title-present

3 Kerry Eggers, Portland Tribune for Game 4 Blazers-Mavs
http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=130361447040397300

Column

1 Kevin Ding, Orange County Register on Kobe Bryant
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bryant-304531-james-nba.html

2 Henry Abbott, ESPN.com on Kobe in clutch
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time

* (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 – http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/fran_blinebury/12/16/yao-ming/index.html)

Feature

1 Darnell Mayberry, Oklahoman on Russell Westbrook
http://newsok.com/russell-westbrooks-journey-from-community-center-gyms-to-the-nba-all-star-game/article/3542475

2 Scott Howard Cooper, NBA.com on Bismack Biyombo
http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/scott_howard_cooper/06/14/bismack-biyombo-euro-workout/index.html

3 Sam Amick, SI.com on Adam Morrison
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/sam_amick/11/22/adam.morrison/index.html

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