This was such a special year in the NBA, a year that will go down in history as one of the greatest seasons in league history. For one, the Golden State Warriors were in pursuit of the storied ’95-’96 Bulls record of 72-10. Then, you have the living legend, Kobe Bryant, making his retirement tour that ended with a 60 point CLASSIC against the Utah Jazz. With this and all of the other moments of the year, it’s time for the second annual KSherman NBA Regular Season Awards.
Surprise Team Of The Year: The Portland Trail Blazers are the obvious choice for this award with the way they proved to the world they still have the talent to make a difference in the league. This past offseason, the Trail Blazers lost four of their five starters to free agency in Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Robin Lopez. Once this happened, all eyes were on Damian Lillard to see if he can help lead this team back to the playoffs…..and he did just that. With the rise of CJ McCollum to a 20 PPG average, and the team playing as a cohesive unit, they were able to get the 5th seed in the playoffs. Playing the Clippers in the first round hasn’t been going very smoothly for them so far, but this team is just a few pieces away from becoming contenders in this league. Because of this, this is why the Trail Blazers deserve this award.
Biggest Disappointment: The Chicago Bulls didn’t make a single damn move before the season as they kept their squad relatively the same. No wait, I take that back, they did fire one of the best coaches in Bulls history in favor of Coach Fred Hoiberg; former Head Coach at Iowa State. And how did they fair? A 42-40 record and missing the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. This should have NOT happened. If you are keeping basically the same team, but changing coaches, that new coach better be worth a damn and your team should still be playoff contenders. But that didn’t happen, so that is why the Chicago Bulls get my “Biggest Disappointment” award.
Moment For The Ages: The Kobe Bryant retirement tour ended in amazing fashion, with “The Mamba” putting up 60 points on the Utah Jazz to help lead the Lakers to a win in their regular season finale. During this game, the crowd came to see “Vintage Kobe,” and they got “Vintage Kobe.” But that’s not the moment I am talking about, oh no! With the 60 points aside, the moment that I am referring to is the ovation that Kobe received after he was subbed out with four seconds left in the game. It wasn’t any normal kind of ovation, it was a special kind of ovation. The loyal Laker fans were cheering for a purpose, in admiration for a legend leaving the floor for a final time, wearing the storied purple and gold that he wore for 20 years. If you get a chance, just look for footage of that moment and watch, because words do not do it justice. It was a Moment For The Ages, and that is why that moment deserves the “Moment For The Ages” award.
Now did I miss any teams? Did I miss any moments? Are there any awards that I should have added in? Let me know in the comments below, on Facebook, or tweet me at @KShermanSports. Thank You!