lThe 2019 NBA Awards will be given out on Monday night, and we’re likely to see Giannis Antetokounmpo win MVP, Pascal Siakam win Most Improved Player, and so on. Those honors should be fun to watch, but it’s time we gave awards to the non-basketball, basketball heroes of the world.
There’s more to the game than the final score. Putting the ball in the hoop is entertaining, but Michael Jordan’s outfits were well below replacement level. Paul Pierce is a franchise legend, but his emojis are a disaster.
Here, SB Nation will honor those who are best at the untraditional aspects of hoops. Without further ado.
Best Fits: P.J. Tucker
Fit God won this award before the season even started, for obvious reasons such as:
Not to mention:
But a newfound friendship with Donatella Versace is only the beginning for P.J.:
Best Instagram award: Kevin Love
Kevin Love had an injury-riddled season in Cleveland without LeBron James, but that didn’t stop his IG from going off. K-Love won this award because he used a “down year” to rebrand as a very fit vacation dad to an excellent dog.
Follow along as we live through Kevin and his Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kate Bock’s vacations to Utah and Thailand:
Special shouts to the couple’s new dog, Vestry, too. She and Kevin give off extreme Don’t Talk To Me Or My Daughter Ever Again vibes, and she fits perfectly into his dad aesthetic.
Best James Harden Impersonation: Steph Curry
Several coaches and players — and especially the Warriors — spent the better part of the past two seasons complaining about the legitimacy of James Harden’s stepback move. But the champion of this category is Stephen Curry for attempting one himself during a game and getting whistled for a travel.
Congrats on becoming everything you hate, Steph!
Curry hits the Harden double stepback, called for a travel.
Educated guess: looks like Steph uses his hands to tell the ref if he had 13 on his chest he wouldn’t have called it. pic.twitter.com/pTzWaNgrfK
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 6, 2019
The ‘You Hate to See It’ award: The Boston Celtics
They’re days away from losing both Kyrie Irving and Al Horford after a season of passive-aggressive fighting and hoops disappointment.
Say it with me now.
Danny insisted on competing while rebuilding and refusing to use any of those assets for established players and now the Celtics are gonna be a 7 seed you hate to see it
— b (@ccchtti) June 15, 2019
The Celtics could’ve got Kawhi last year and likely kept Tatum and Kyrie. You hate to see it.
— Keem (@_Shakeem) June 19, 2019
The Truth Will Set You Free award: Paul Pierce
After 11 years, Paul Pierce finally admitted his famous wheelchair incident in the 2008 NBA Finals was because he pooped himself, not because he was actually injured.
That’s all that needs to be said. Thank you for the honesty, Paul.
Best Twitter Account: Richard Jefferson
The trio of K-Love, Channing Frye, and Richard Jefferson is tremendous, but RJ specifically stands out on Twitter.
There was the time he told us the Cavs partied the night before crushing the Knicks:
What was disrespectful was the partying we did the night before knowing that was still going to be the final score https://t.co/rjfc9qyXzU
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) May 24, 2019
And the time he tweeted the same thing three times in a row during the Trail Blazers-Warriors series because Portland kept blowing double-digit halftime leads.
RJ only has 179 tweets. He’s very efficient with his time. Follow him!
The ‘Jennifer’: Jennifer
Jennifer deserves an award for getting the Blazers into the Western Conference Finals with one tweet:
They even met in person!
Moment of the Year: Kawhi Leonard’s laugh
“Ahahaha ha h ha ha ah haha ha ah hah,” said Toronto’s best basketball player ever.
The best part is that he did the laugh all over again at the championship parade!
Congrats forever, Kawhi!