– Most people– I’m probably one of these people– most people don’t like confrontation. Nobody ever comes up to me that yells at me. They do on Twitter, because they can be anonymous. You know what I mean? But like when I walk around the grocery store or a car wash or like, you know, everyday places, everybody comes up and says nice things. I’ve been doing this 30 years. Nobody’s ever come out once and been a jerk– that was sober. Sometimes drunk people, but, you know, that’s alcohol speaking.
But people don’t like confrontation, so it’s easier– I’m not saying it’s better– it’s easier to be honest anonymously. You can rip somebody, because they don’t know it’s you.
And so every year, the NBA, at this time of the year, has their general manager survey. Anonymously, general managers vote on a variety of topics. Now, publicly, general managers will never criticize a star player, because they may want to get them.
First of all, they don’t want to be seen as anti-player, because players control the NBA. Players don’t really control the NFL. Players don’t control baseball. I mean, they don’t control hockey. Players control– star players control the NBA. I mean, Robinson Canó is a star. Mariners aren’t in the playoffs. A’s are in the playoffs without stars.
In the NBA, stars control the league. They fire coaches. They don’t fire players. And so a general manager publicly will never rip a star, because he wants to get stars, and he doesn’t want to have a reputation he’s anti-player. But I like this survey, because it’s the one time every year general managers in the NBA can be absolutely honest, because they can be anonymous.
And a lot of people in the NBA– because Kevin Durant’s going to be a free agent, and they’d like to get Kevin Durant on their roster– love Kevin Durant. He’s every bit as good as LeBron.
That’s interesting. Because the general managers NBA survey came out. LeBron won eight categories– best passer, which player forces coaches to adjust most, best small forward, who will win MVP, which new player will have the greatest impact, best leader, best IQ, most versatile. Hell, LeBron finished second in best big forward. He’s not even playing that position.
Kevin Durant won one category– who do you want to take a big shot at the end of the game? By the way, he ranked third in the same survey– best shooter on his own team. LeBron won eight categories and finished second in a position he doesn’t play. Hmm. Yeah.
When you can go anonymous, you can tell the truth. Most versatile defender, Kevin Durant didn’t get a vote. LeBron got third. LeBron stopped playing defense last year. So for the “Kevin Durant is better than LeBron” crowd, once general managers could be honest about it, not close.
Oh, by the way, Steph Curry got votes in 11 categories, more than Kevin Durant got. So on his own team, Kevin Durant got votes in fewer categories than Steph Curry. Not even the biggest vote-getter on his own team.
So when you can go anonymous, you can be more honest. And in a star-driven league, when nobody ever wants to criticize stars, it would have been very, very easy.
The one that everybody will talk about today– the one category– is, if you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player, who would it be? And LeBron got like fourth. But, remember, that’s always been a category about age. Last year, Karl-Anthony Towns won it. Nobody in the NBA thought Karl-Anthony Towns was better than LeBron. That category gets overdiscussed. I can’t believe– that’s an age category.
GMs every year go out– I mean, Joel Embiid got votes. You know, I mean, Anthony Davis, Giannis got votes. Last year, it was Karl-Anthony Towns. That’s the one that will get discussed today, and people will freak out. LeBron should have won that.
LeBron’s in his, what, 16th year? Yeah, I mean, a lot of general managers are looking for the next star, not the current star. Don’t pay that much attention to that one. But pay attention to what the GMs– who could be totally honest about LeBron and Durant– how the voting went. LeBron won eight categories– leader, passer, IQ. Positions he doesn’t even play, he got votes in. Durant didn’t get the most votes in the most categories on his own team.