Portland General Manager, Neil Olshey, did not receive a single vote for NBA Executive of the Year. Excuse me? The man who drafted the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year, Damian Lillard, with the 6th pick wasn’t even in the conversation? Malarkey! Even Rob Hennigan of the Orlando Magic got two 3rd place votes. This is truly a shocker.
It has been noted that no Trail Blazer was nominated for a league-wide award this season, with the exception of Damian Lillard and (sarcastically) Luke Babbitt, and perhaps that contributed to Olshey’s absence from the Executive talk. I don’t think this can be true. The Denver Nuggets managed one 5th place MVP vote for Ty Lawson, some DPOY votes for Iguodala, and a handful of Sixth Man votes for Andre Miller, and not only was General Manager, Masai Ujiri, considered for Executive of the Year; he won!
Of course, the Nuggets recorded their best regular season in history, and I take no issue with Ujiri winning the award. I am just irritated that execs such as Dell Demps (New Orleans) can even be thought of before Neil Olshey. Have you considered where the Blazers were projected to be this year? They rebuild more often than kids who make sand castles at high tide. Yet the selection of Damian Lillard at 6 (not to mention Will Barton all the way down at 40) brought Portland to the edge of relevance.
I suppose it goes to show how much of a sham these awards really are. Sometimes they feel akin to the vanity pages of a high school yearbook (Kendrick Perkins for Best Smile). Sure, the man who is supposed to win usually does, but I can practically hear the childish snickers of certain media members as they write-in naughty puns on the ballot.
On the bright side, the lack of votes for Neil does not indicate a lack of competency. I would be concerned if the voting process was more reputable, but again it is by no means authoritative (though Most Artistic is serious business). Good thing he is preparing for one hell of an off-season. I don’t think Neil is as bothered by his exclusion from the cool kids’ table as I am, but this time next year everyone will want to sit next to him; or at least include him in their top 17 NBA Executives.