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GM Survey: Where Darko Milicic is underrated and Carmelo Anthony is MVP

Oct 22, 2012, 5:30 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony AP

Everyone has that buddy that acts perfectly logical and sane, but forces you to reevaluate your friendship after he blurts out something like, “Carlos Boozer is going to win MVP this year!” Well, good news everyone: NBA General Managers are just like you, me, and your friend you can no longer take seriously.

Let’s take a look at some particularly bizarre things that were said in the NBA GM survey released today. Keep in mind that general managers weren’t allowed to vote for their own players or personnel, which makes these answers (and the who-done-it mystery) all the more confounding.

1. Carmelo Anthony: MVP

Let’s try to rationalize this. The MVP award can be all about the narrative, right? Maybe New York comes out and crushes the league during the regular season, and it’s Carmelo Anthony leading the way. The long awaited actualization of immense natural talent — what a story! And ever since LeBron James and Kevin Durant were abducted by aliens, it’s an easy call to make! Look, unless “defense” and “scoring efficiency” cease to exist in the year 2013, let’s go ahead and chalk this up to a GM doing some grade-A trolling.

Likely culprit: Masai Ujiri, Denver Nuggets GM, Master Troll

2. Most underrated player acquisition: Darko Milicic

If by “underrated” this GM means “not rated all because it doesn’t matter” then this is a great pick that makes all kinds of sense. It’s hard to express just how awful Darko Milicic has been throughout his entire career, but I’ll try. Darko posted a PER of 9.0 (average PER is 15), had a true shooting percentage of 45.8 percent, had zero win shares, had a lower defensive rebounding percentage than Andrea Bargnani, and was considered a malcontent through it all. But, other than that, I’m sure he’s on the brink of a breakout in his 10th NBA season. That happens all the time.

Likely Culprit: David Kahn, Minnesota Timberwolves GM, Manna from Heaven Believer


3. Best Perimeter Defender: Kobe Bryant

Aren’t reputations fun? Bryant has been playing matador defense for a while now, sending everything to the bigs in the paint behind him. That may be a viable strategy now that Dwight Howard is patrolling the paint, but it’s laughable to suggest that Bryant is the best perimeter defender in the league when there are much quicker players who are really only in the league because defense is their one skill. You think Tony Allen gets playing time for his isolation ability? Or that Thabo Seflosha plays over James Harden because he’s a pure scorer? Bryant can still play a mean center field defensively, but he’s nowhere near the on-ball defender he used to be.

Likely Culprit:  Lon Babby, Phoenix Suns GM, Part-Time Lakers Assistant GM

4. Player you want taking a shot with the game on the line: Chauncey Billups

Behold the power of a nickname! Chauncey Billups, also known as Mr. Big Shot, had gone 3-of-27 with the game on the line from 2006-2011. In that same time frame, Chris Paul was 14-for-31. So while the GM who picked Chuancey Billups may have had the right team, he definitely picked the wrong player. In fact, anyone not named Chauncey with at least 15 attempts would have been a better choice. This is an impressive level of wrong here.

Likely Culprit: Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons GM, Proud Nostalgist

5. The Timberwolves will win the Northwest Division instead of the Thunder or Nuggets

Who needs baby steps when you can take gigantic leaps? This isn’t an indictment on what Minnesota has cooking — many smart people predict Minnesota to make the playoffs and the numbers support it. But are they really better than the Thunder? It’s hard to make that massive jump with Ricky Rubio still making his way back from ACL surgery and Kevin Love sidelined for the beginning of the season. Maybe the GM forgot the Thunder were in this division. After all, Oklahoma City really isn’t in the Northwest.

Likely Culprit: Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM, Numbers Fiend

6. The Hawks will win the Southeast Division instead of the Heat

Nevermind that the Heat are the defending champs, added some guy named Ray Allen, and still feature the best player in the league in the prime of his career. That’s all circumstantial, because the Hawks…traded Joe Johnson? You won’t find a bigger Anthony Morrow fan than me (with the possible exception of this GM), but only Harry the Hawk or someone who runs a team that has adopted a vendetta against all things Miami could possibly believe something like…oh. Right.

Likely Culprit: Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics GM, Loyal Feudist (Obviously this was actually Pat Riley, since he can’t vote for his own team. But it’s more fun to think that it’s Ainge, isn’t it?)

  1. eddit13 - Oct 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    So this blogger comes up from his mother’s basement to go name Melo the most offending part of the GM survey? Nevermind context of course:

    Who will win the 2012-13 MVP?

    1. LeBron James, Miami — 66.7%
    2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City — 30.0%
    3. Carmelo Anthony, New York — 3.3%

    So the guy who gets 3.3% of the vote deserves a headline? Is Bron planning a spring vacation? Was granted KD tenure? Good grief.

    In that case I predict DJ Foster as ’12-13 NBA Troll of the Year. Don’t worry Kurt, like LeBron and KD, you’ll have your chance to troll on.

    • dal24la - Oct 22, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      LOL, you beat me to it. He brought up people who placed last or near last (of people mentioned) and got under 6.7% of votes, which mean all the people you griped about got 1 or 2 votes. Not story material.

      Mr. Foster, you’re the front runner for NBA media troll of the year.

    • broncobeta - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM


      I doubt Masai casted the vote for Melo anyways.

  2. timb12 - Oct 22, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    This is like playing Clue:NBA Edition!

    • gpatrick15 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      Amare Stoudemire, in Madison square garden, with a fire extinguisher

      • ovi8lebron6 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Actually at the AAA, but it’s a good one anyway

  3. lonelyhawksfan - Oct 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    In defense of the GMs, they weren’t allowed to pick their own team as an answer. So it was almost definitely Pat Riley who picked the Hawks as Southeast champs.

  4. ovi8lebron6 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Well done DJ, you found out who the mysterious GM who voted for the Hawks was. Maybe you should enlighten our friend Kurt, cause he didn’t seem to figure it out a couple of posts back.

  5. dls612 - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    MVP & Carmelo Anthony?! That even sounds awkward to say!

  6. jjordannba - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Kurt, the purpose of this article is confusing to me, none of these people you have up here where first in that category. They were all like 4th or 5th. Like for instance for Best Perimeter defender Kobe wasn’t even on the main list, 1st was Tony Allen then Lebron, then Avery Bradley.

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Kurt didn’t post this.

  7. j0esixpack - Oct 22, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    I’m not sure if this article is meant to compliment or insult Milicic.

    While no one is suggesting Darko as MVP if you look at his points and rebounds off the bench on a per minute basis and compare them to former Celtic Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics probably have the better backup Center of the two.

    Looked at another way, the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green and Darko Milicic. You’ve got to give Ainge credit for getting the better part of that deal without a doubt.

  8. metalhead65 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    the last thing I want is for basketball to become like baseball with these new stats that mean nothing to me and only to saber geeks. have no idea nor do I want to have what pe means or any of the stupid geek stats you nerds have made up tpo ruin another sport. what matters is how they play in the game. I have seen guys get minus points because the other team scores while it’s first team is still in the game like it’s his fault. the team wins by 20 but he is a rotten player because they scored more while he and the second unit was in the game whatever people. old school all the way and do not want to hear this nonsense.

  9. jjordannba - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Who the hell is DJ Foster

  10. heathater4lifeson - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    Sorry joesixpack but Perkins was not traded for Darko. Perkins and Nate Robinson were traded to the thunder (Darko played for the twolves) for green and krstic, who is now playing in Europe I believe. And to say that Darko is better than Perkins is turible. Darko should get the see his playing time take a huge hit as fab Melo and sulinger improve as the season goes on. So I’d say the thunder got the better deal.

  11. truthplainandsimple - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    The entire point of this article was to talk about unpopular and biased opinions from the GM voting. LIKE? Melo winning MVP, Darko being most underrated, the Hawks winning the division, Kobe still being a decent defender, etc.

    My God, you people are stupid.

    • jrd8523 - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      My god, you’re brilliant. Understanding the articles purpose doesn’t make the article any less pointless.

      You mean to tell me that a poll of a group of people produces pointless oddities that break from convential picks!? Pin a gold star on you.

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