NBA: National Bias Association

By Eric Vallen

Sports award voting, more specifically NBA award voting, is abhorrently flawed. The primary suspect to the degeneration of the award voting system is a phenomenon dubbed “voter fatigue.” Essentially, after an individual has won an award two or three times in quick succession, voters become “fatigued” and decide to vote for other, likely undeserving candidates. For example, recent NBA MVP winners, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic are playing to the best of their abilities again this year, currently dominating the field of potential MVP candidates. However, on projected MVP boards, these two players rarely rank in the top 5, due to voter fatigue. In my eyes, this is an absolute travesty. Now more than ever, NBA players are judged upon their legacy. What more would a player want for preserving and advancing their legacy than to win another MVP? Beyond a championship, nothing. Voters are robbing these players of their rightful awards, which in the long run, drags down their legacy. Speaking of legacy, avid NBA fans often compare the accolades of arguably the two most prestigious players to ever play the game, Michael Jordan and Lebron James. Solely due to voter fatigue, Jordan outclasses James in terms of accolades. James was robbed of MVP awards in 2011 and 2018, and unarguably robbed of a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013, a year in which he received more first-place votes than any other player, but still lost the award. With these three accolades added to his resume, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Lebron James is the greatest basketball player of all time. Yet, he doesn’t have them, robbed of his true place due to arbitrary “tiredness” at the hands of biased voters. In reality, none of these voters are tired, they simply want another story to write about. If you didn’t get that, yes, the media votes on who wins awards in the NBA. Let’s put that into perspective. There are hundreds, even thousands of qualified players, coaches, and analysts in the NBA that could accurately vote for rightful winners, but they can’t. Imagine the only people who could vote for president were little kids, who hadn’t a clue about the policy of any kind. That is exactly what occurs in the NBA. Somehow, someway, the voting process for end of season awards in the NBA must change. As of now, it holds the title as one of the worst voting processes, not just in sports, but in the world.