Why Did Voters Slight Artest?

by Jeff Tzucker
by Conrad Brunner

Monday, May 12, 2003

If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno's_mailbag@pacers.com

Conrad Brunner

Q. How can Ron Artest finish second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year, yet only manage a Second Team spot (on the All-Defensive team)? This makes absolutely no sense to me, and it makes me question the NBA even further in the way things are done. I love the Indiana Pacers, but I hate the NBA. Do you have any insights on how the NBA decides to move the second leading vote getter to the All-Defensive Second team? (From Jeff in New Castle, IN)

A. Don’t blame the NBA. Blame the coaches. Two totally separate groups vote for the two awards. The voters for the All-Defensive Team are the league’s 29 coaches, who must vote for players by position. The voters for Defensive Player of the Year are selected media members who regularly cover the league, and the award is given regardless of position. Since Artest is a forward, it’s safe to say the coaches preferred Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Kevin Garnett of Minnesota over Artest. It’s also possible the coaches were more unforgiving about the 12 games Artest missed due to league and team disciplinary action. The media preferred Artest to everyone except Ben Wallace of Detroit. Finally, some hard evidence that reporters are indeed smarter than coaches.