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.
Report: Lakers have ‘big-time’ interest in signing DeMarre Carroll, Celtics and Pistons also in pursuit
May 22, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT
Would they pay him the $15 million per season one NBA executive estimated the Hawks forward could get in free agency?
Report: Tom Thibodeau believed to prefer sitting out next season rather than helping Bulls by accepting trade
May 22, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT
That could leave Magic, Pelicans, Bulls and Thibodeau in a bind
May 22, 2015, 1:28 PM EDT
Which probably means it’s his last in the NBA
Chandler Parsons won’t say whether his surgery was microfracture, might not be ready for training camp
May 22, 2015, 12:50 PM EDT
Tea leaves reading negative for Mavericks
May 22, 2015, 12:13 PM EDT
LeBron James poised for a big game
Report: Lakers not locked into drafting Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, could pick a guard at No. 2
May 22, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT
That’d be D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay
May 22, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT
Consider it Riley’s revenge
May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT
Is his injury more serious than previously thought?
May 22, 2015, 9:48 AM EDT
May 22, 2015, 9:10 AM EDT
Cavaliers will keep leaning on injured point guard – at least to some degree – anyway
May 22, 2015, 8:31 AM EDT
Barnes all but begged for the chance for a couple years.
May 22, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Stephen Curry and James Harden have been putting on a show for a couple games now.
May 22, 2015, 2:17 AM EDT
James Harden has been nothing short of brilliant for two games.
May 22, 2015, 12:06 AM EDT
Harden scores 38 points, just misses triple-double
May 21, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT
Donaghy was sent to prison for betting on NBA games while he was employed as a league official.
May 21, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
Golden State was rolling early in Game 2.
May 21, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
The seven-footer may be a top-five selection.
May 21, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT
Thomas is now running New York’s WNBA team, but many feel it’s just a matter of time before he’s back in some capacity with the Knicks.
LeBron James after tweaking his ankle by stepping on cameraman: ‘His foot was out further than it should be’
May 21, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
Tough to tell, but either way, too many people are too close to the action.
May 21, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
This is now a team without its two best wing defenders.
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