POSTED: Apr 23, 2014 2:28 PM ET
NEW YORK — Phoenix's Goran Dragic, who helped lead the Suns to a 23-win improvement while establishing career highs in scoring and field goal percentage, is the winner of the 2013-14 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.
Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (155 points, 16 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.
Kia Most Improved Player: Goran Dragic
Dragic, who entered the 2013-14 campaign with a career scoring average of 9.5 points, averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds, as the Suns finished with a record of 48-34, one game behind the Dallas Mavericks, who claimed the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. He shot a career-best .505 from the field, including a .408 mark from behind the three-point arc. He was the only player in the NBA to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Dragic started 75 of the 76 games he appeared in, and helped keep the Suns in playoff contention, despite the extended absence of teammate Eric Bledsoe, who was limited to 43 games this season.
As part of its support of the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate an all-new 2015 Kia Sorento LX CUV to City of Hope's Southwest Region, a leader in the fight to conquer cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, on behalf of Dragic. Kia Motors will present a Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2013-14 year-end award winners as part of "The Kia NBA Performance Awards." Following this season, Kia Motors will have donated a total of 31 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA's prestigious year-end honors began in 2008.
The 2013-14 Kia NBA Most Improved Player Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called "The Kia NBA Performance Awards." The series, currently in its seventh season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between KMA and the NBA, and includes five of the league's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player Award, and Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month and the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month during the regular season. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league's Official Vehicle. For more information on "The Kia NBA Performance Awards" visit NBA.com/awards.
For the first time this season, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award will be posted on nba.com/official following the announcement of each winner.
|2013-14 Kia Most Improved Player award voting|