Apr 24, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT
Just a few years ago, Mike Conley, the No. 4 pick in the 2007 draft, was labeled a bust.
Since, he’s steadily improved while showing dignity and persistence on the court. This season, he quietly led the Grizzlies – who battled injuries and adjusted to a first-year coach – to the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference.
That attitude earned Conley the 2014 NBA Sportsmanship Award.
As winner of the Joe Dumars Trophy, named for its first recipient, Conley had the NBA make a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice. He picked St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for sickle cell anemia research.
Each of the 30 teams nominate a player for the award, and former players – John Crotty, Antonio Davis, Eddie Johnson, Jalen Rose and Isiah Thomas – narrow the pool to one player per division. Then, all players vote on the six division winners.
Conley, the only repeat division winner, won the award after finishing fourth last year.
Here are the full results with first-, second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place votes and total points:
1. Mike Conley, Grizzlies (77-76-55-49-51-21-2,335)
2. Jeff Green Celtics (65-42-44-65-68-41-1,971)
3. Channing Frye, Suns (53-49-70-35-55-61-1,915)
4. Bradley Beal, Wizards (44-49-59-61-71-41-1,897)
5. Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (48-48-58-66-40-65-1,881)
6. Mike Dunleavy, Bulls (47-68-41-45-34-89-1,832)
I’m often amused by the player who finishes at the bottom of the list.
Maybe the process perfectly selects the six most-deserving players, and someone just has to finish sixth. I suspect, though, someone occasionally slips through and his fellow players weed him out with a lot of last-place votes.
Two years ago, Chris Paul had a whopping 115 sixth-place votes – far more than anyone for any slot. With his flopping, I doubt many players see him as a beacon of sportsmanship.
This year, Dunleavy received more sixth-place votes than anyone else had for any slot. Considering Isiah Thomas and Eddie Johnson are both from Chicago, it’s at least plausible the Bulls forward got preferential treatment in that stage of the process.
On the other hand, Dunleavy had more first-place votes than fourth-place Beal. Paul had the fewest first-place votes in 2012.
It’s interesting Dunleavy finished sixth this season, but Paul finishing sixth in 2012 – that was a real statement.
Aug 4, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT
Everything good now between the Kings franchise player and coach?
Aug 4, 2015, 5:13 PM EDT
This is the real deal
Aug 4, 2015, 4:18 PM EDT
Exum was playing for Australia against Slovenia
Aug 4, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
Will former Iowa State star make Orlando’s team?
Aug 4, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT
If you don’t get it, ask someone younger
Aug 4, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
Kobe doesn’t know how he’ll feel next summer. You can’t blame him for that.
Aug 4, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT
No. No they will not.
Aug 4, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
The Serbian national team is expected to protest it.
Aug 4, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT
He will battle Kyle O’Quinn to backup Robin Lopez.
Aug 4, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT
Lawson and Brewer put up impressive offensive numbers together in Denver.
Aug 4, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
I’m no fashion critic, but they’re not bad.
Aug 4, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT
Somehow I bet he still cashes his paychecks rather than actually playing for free.
Aug 4, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
Even if he could sign an extension, he wouldn’t.
Aug 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
The Morris twins have denied any involvement, or even knowing the victim.
Aug 4, 2015, 1:05 AM EDT
Thinking long-term is the smart approach, the only one the Mavericks should consider
Aug 3, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT
Kobe Bryant is Beatles during the British Invasion level popular in China.
Aug 3, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT
Brooklyn could have easily kept Clark through training camp
Aug 3, 2015, 9:03 PM EDT
Pacers star maintains status as lock for 2016 Olympic roster – if he wants to play
Aug 3, 2015, 8:16 PM EDT
Trayce Thompson gives Thompson family yet another professional athlete
Aug 3, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT
That’ll keep him a viable candidate for 2016 Olympic roster
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