Apr 24, 2010, 9:43 PM EDT
The press release from the NBA that accompanied Saturday’s announcement of Bucks General Manager John Hammond as Executive of the Year was noteworthy for what it didn’t mention.
In announcing Hammond as winner of the award, the release cited the drafting of Brandon Jennings, the selection of coach Scott Skiles, the addition of veterans Carlos Delfino, John Salmons, Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas, as well as the re-signing of Ersan Ilyasova.
But nowhere were two of Hammond’s most significant moves mentioned.
Or make that non-moves.
He didn’t re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions last summer, declined to get caught up in any bidding war to retain those two free agents last summer.
More to the point, he refused to overpay.
Then consider the electorate for the award.
Unlike MVP, Rookie of the Year or most of the major awards, this was not a media poll (not that there is anything wrong with that).
Unlike the All-NBA and All-Rookie teams, this was not an election by coaches.
No, this was league executives voting for one of their own.
And they just might have made the process a referendum against foolish spending.
Detroit’s Joe Dumars, who added Villanueva (and Ben Gordon), did not receive a single vote. Neither did the Timberwolves’ David Kahn, who added Sessions.
Instead, the practical and prudent Sam Presti finished second in the balloting.
With the league bursting with cap cash, there certainly will be more Dumars types out there this summer, spending because they can, much to the delight of David Lee, Rudy Gay, Carlos Boozer and others.
But the lesson from Hammond is one that should not be overlooked or understated.
Less, in his case, produced more.
Those at the July 1 starting gate should consider it a reality check.
Then again, perhaps Saturday’s announcement was a sign of what’s not to come.
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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