‘I Can Appreciate This…Until You Got Bums On The All-NBA Team’ | Draymond Sounds Off On Game Minimum For Awards Eligibility

The NBA and NBPA reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement last Saturday. One of the new provisions of the CBA is players must play at least 65 games to be eligible for major individual league awards such as MVP and All-NBA recognition. Golden State Warriors’ forward Draymond Green says he can appreciate the game limit, until underserving players make All-NBA.

“I can appreciate this and everyone will appreciate this until you got bums on the All-NBA team and winning awards because someone didn’t qualify because they missed 10 games at some point in the season due to an ankle injury,” the Warriors forward said on his eponymous podcast.

“When you look back in history and you got a bum on the All-NBA second team or first team because guys missed some games, it won’t be so appreciated then and everybody will be complaining now.”

Bums Making All-NBA?

Damn, Draymond! Bums?! It’s like that?

He’s not wrong, though perhaps a little harsh in referring to some of his peers as bums.

All-NBA and awards like MVP tell the story of the league for a particular season and is a part of its history. Of course there needs to be a baseline for how a player earns these coveted awards, but 65 is such an arbitrary number.

So if a player is by far the best player in the league and only plays 64 games he won’t be eligible for MVP or All-NBA? Sounds crazy.

If that rule were in place this season: Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and Jaren Jackson Jr. would be ineligible for any of the awards or All league honors.

Jackson Jr. is likely the defensive player of the year, which means he’s first team All-Defense and has a case to make a third All-NBA team.

Dame, Steph and KD not on any of the all league teams? All top 10 in EPM, and various other stats.

The league has put the narrative out there that players are “load managing” and are willfully skipping games.


This Is An Old Fight: Labor vs. Management

Because it benefits owners. This has been the central fight in the NBA since its inception. Labor vs. management, and whenever there is a problem the default has been to blame the players.

With this new games minimum requirement the owners think they’ve addressed load management. But Draymond has a counter.

“You know who else will be complaining? I think owners are going to end up complaining when they find a bum that they have to give an extension to that made the All-NBA team. And now they’re coming there asking you for max and supermax [contracts] because they made an All-NBA team? They will get to complaining. Because you gonna have a guy making $200 million dollars producing at an $80 million level,” Green added.

As a part of the CBA, award winners and All-league honorees are eligible for bigger contracts. Since you have to play 65 games to qualify, there will surely be a very good player that is vaulted up because he met the threshold and now that player has to be paid max money.

In a league with no salary cap this wouldn’t be a big deal. Just write the check and keep it moving. But the NBA has a salary cap, and governors wanted the ability to offer their players more money to get them to stay in smaller markets.

This is the law of unintended consequences. Outcomes of a purposeful action that are not intended or foreseen. 

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