Award talk is swirling around the NBA as Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to win a second consecutive MVP. It’s noteworthy in that he struggled — and was injured — as the Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a couple of players named finalists for awards in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but one honor that was not included was the NBA’s Executive of the Year.
It’s an award that Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka would seem to be in the running for. Pelinka orchestrated the trade that brought Davis to the Lakers while also doing an excellent job of having a contingency plan in place while waiting on the decision of Kawhi Leonard.
Signing Danny Green and Avery Bradley following Leonard choosing the L.A. Clippers while also retaining important role players such as Alex Caruso and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all helped to take the Lakers to the top of the Western Conference.
But this apparently won’t be enough to get Pelinka in the running for the award as, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, there seems to be little support for the Lakers general manager among those sampled:
Among the voting constituents sampled, there seemed to be little support for the candidacy of Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, who helped a massive turnaround to vault the team into the top seed in the West.
But some of his peers, many of whom had a history of dealing with Pelinka as an agent, seem to not want to give him much credit. Some cited the role of Rich Paul, the agent for James and Davis, in putting the team together. Others pointed to the Lakers being accused of and fined for tampering in recent years.
Unlike all other NBA awards which are voted on by the media, the Executive of the Year is decided by the other front offices with each team getting one vote, not being allowed to use it on themselves. As such, this can lead to some pettiness occurring and possible grudges carrying over.
As noted, Pelinka’s history as an agent before taking over the Lakers has led to some lingering issues with other front offices and that could manifest in things such as this. Though this award would be nice, there is little doubt that Pelinka would much prefer an NBA championship.
LeBron, A.D. All-NBA First Team
Although Davis came up short to Antetokounmpo for Defensive Player of the Year, and James is expected to suffer the same fate for MVP, the Lakers teammates were named to the All-NBA First Team. James and Antetokounmpo were unanimous selections.
Davis and James are the first Lakers teammates to receive the honor since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal for the 2003-04 season.
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