NEW YORK CITY -- The NBA’s reigning MVP wants to help decide the league’s future MVPs.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant, in New York City before his sixth straight All-Star Game, joined a number of his fellow NBA players in suggesting that their voices should be heard when it comes to awards voting. Under the current system, a panel of writers and broadcasters votes for the end-of-season awards and All-NBA Teams, while a fan vote handles the All-Star starters and a vote of the coaches takes care of the All-Star reserves.
“I think media gets too much power to vote on stuff, quite frankly, that you don’t know a lot about, as much as we [players] know about it,” Durant said at All-Star media availability on Friday. “We play against these guys every single night, we battle against these guys, we know what they say on the court, we know how they handle their teammates, we know how they approach the game. Our vote should count. Our opinions should count. I don’t think you guys know as much as we do and I don’t know why you have more power than we do.”
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford and Suns guard Isaiah Thomas have both tweeted recently that the players should be involved in the awards voting process. As it turns out, NBA players used to vote for the MVP award until 1980-81, when the current system that asks the media to submit five names, ranked in order, was adopted.
To Durant, who won his first MVP award in 2013-14, the crux of the issue is credibility. When pressed on what the media is missing in its selections, he asserted that the players -- by virtue of their pre-game preparations and direct communication with their colleagues -- are simply more knowledgeable than media members. The media, he added, is apt to miss the most deserving players by honing in on higher-profile players.
“We appreciate you [media] guys blowing the game up and how much attention you bring to the game,” he said. “But at the same time, let’s keep it pure. The players should have more say in that [award] stuff.”