Handing Out The 2006 BASN NBA Hardware To Some Deserving Players

By Gregory Moore
Updated: April 16, 2006

SAN ANTONIO – Well the end of the NBA regular season is finally over and it’s time to hand out the coveted Black Athlete Sports Network hardware to some deserving coaches, players and front office personnel. So without any further ado or fanfare, here are this year’s winners of NBA awards by BASN.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR This year’s Rookie of the Year award goes to New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul. Paul has been a sensational player all year and has truly been a leader on a New Orleans Hornets team that has been moved to Oklahoma City because of Hurricane Katrina. Averaging 16 ppg and eight dimes per contest, it’s hard to argue that the former Wake Forest standout isn’t deserving of this award.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER AWARD There are so many worthy players out there but I have to go with Boris Diaw. Diaw was just sitting on the bench down in Atlanta for two seasons and would have been an NBA bust had it not been for that infamous trade between the Hawks and the Phoenix Suns. Averaging 13.5 ppg for the Pacific Division champs of this season, Diaw has proven to very capable taking Joe Johnson’s place in Phoenix and has no problems playing next to Steve Nash.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR You cannot argue that Ben Wallace isn’t the man this season. Wallace’s defense anchors the Detroit Pistons and has put them as one of the top defensive teams in the league. Whether Big Ben is sporting the Afro or cornrows, he is definitely a force to be reckoning with.

SIXTH MAN AWARD When NBA teams hit the floor, players and coaches entrust some of the hottest situations to a player that can come off the bench and elevate that play and that is what this award stands for. This year’s sixth man award recipient is Seattle’s Earl Watson. Watson’s uncanny ability to score in bunches is something that may allow the Sonics to be a good team next year. Definitely a player worthy of this award.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER The one category that gets more fans hot and bothered. The definition of this award means that you have to select the one player that is the most valuable to the team he plays for. This doesn’t mean necessarily the best player on the team but it usually works out that way. This year’s winner is Cleveland’s LeBron James. King James has guided his team to the playoffs this year after narrowly missing them last season and he has helped the Cavaliers become a team that has been not very exciting before his arrival. With this team going to the playoffs for the first time nearly fifteen years, James has stepped up his leadership for the team and has begun being a solid playoff contender.

COACH OF THE YEAR This year there were four head coaches who were above everyone else in the league, Byron Scott, Avery Johnson, Flip Saunders and Mike Brown. You could pick any one of these four coaches and not get a negative response from too many people. My pick for this award goes to Cleveland’s Mike Brown. Brown is a head coach for the first time in his career and he has guided the Cavaliers to be very consistent throughout the seasons and his leadership qualities have been passed down to his team.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR Many basketball fans may not really care for this award but if it isn’t for the man running the front office, many teams may not be in the playoffs this year. This year’s recipient of this award is Danny Ferry of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ferry’s leadership in the front office is one of the reasons why the Cavs have been successful on the court. Ferry’s influence can be seen by the way he has molded this team in just his first full season as general manager. His biggest challenge that will be on the horizon is actually getting his star player, LeBron, to stay in Cleveland but after the way this franchise has done this year, I don’t think that will be a big problem.

There you have it. This year’s NBA award winners. Think these awards’ winners are not so deserving, then drop me a line at gmoore@blackathlete.net and let me know who your winners are.