Apr 24, 2014, 10:19 AM EST
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.
Mar 2, 2015, 2:28 PM EST
Lakers guard says he can take a joke – just not this one
Mar 2, 2015, 1:45 PM EST
Bulls facing big challenge without their best player
Doc Rivers on DeAndre Jordan for Defensive Player of the Year: ‘If anybody else gets that award, we need to have an investigation’
Mar 2, 2015, 1:18 PM EST
Clippers coach: ‘What he’s doing defensively, if he was doing that offensively, he would be recognized as the MVP’
Mar 2, 2015, 12:38 PM EST
I can’t wait
Mar 2, 2015, 11:59 AM EST
Sleeves notwithstanding, these are good
Mar 2, 2015, 11:21 AM EST
Trail Blazers’ Paul Allen falls to No. 2 among NBA owners
Mar 2, 2015, 10:32 AM EST
Trail Blazers center has moves – or at least a move
Mar 2, 2015, 9:53 AM EST
For some reason, Bulls fans boo this athletic feat
Mar 2, 2015, 9:07 AM EST
LeBron: ‘I have no idea why he would do that’
Mar 2, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
He remains out for the rest of this season at least.
Mar 2, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
Well played, Rockets.
Mar 2, 2015, 2:50 AM EST
We have video evidence Brandon Bass can dunk.
Mar 2, 2015, 1:17 AM EST
Contenders will be lined up to sign him.
Mar 1, 2015, 10:36 PM EST
They played like MVP candidates.
Mar 1, 2015, 8:59 PM EST
Harden got a technical foul for this.
Mar 1, 2015, 7:30 PM EST
As in six weeks left in the season.
Mar 1, 2015, 6:00 PM EST
Jordan shot 12 free throws against the Bulls.
Mar 1, 2015, 4:30 PM EST
The deadline for McGee to be waived in order to be eligible to join another team for the playoffs is midnight Sunday.
Mar 1, 2015, 3:31 PM EST
Another hit to Chicago’s roster.
Mar 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EST
Silver talked about the league one day sharing injury data at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
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- Report: Sixers agree to buyout with JaVale McGee; he can sign with contender 32
- Bulls’ Jimmy Butler leaves with elbow injury, does not return (VIDEO) 0
- Adam Silver says data may prove Gregg Popovich right in terms of resting multiple players 17
- Rockets general manager Daryl Morey proposes loosening NBA trade rules 6
- Derrick Rose starts rehab, in “good spirits” after knee surgery 11
- Russell Westbrook undergoes procedure to address cheek fracture, will be re-evaluated next week 6