NBA Player of the Whatever Awards!

Well, we’re back in business!

After a long hiatus, it’s time for a new post. And since the NBA season is not far off, this post will deal with the Scottish independence referendum. Or maybe we’ll deal with NBA awards. Yeah, let’s start with the NBA thingy and we’ll see how it goes. Maybe we’ll get to Scotland later on.

A lot of awards exist in the NBA. Most of them are given out yearly, so any information on them is readily available. However, the awards that I want to talk about are the not-yearly ones: NBA Player of the Month and NBA Player of the Week awards, or POM and POW as we shall call them from now on. I only hope there isn’t some porn-related acronym with the same letters.

I have a vivid memory of myself browsing the web several years ago, looking for information and statistics on those two awards. But alas, that was one of the rare times when the mighty internet failed me.

You want to know who won the most POM awards? Or the most POW awards? Is it Jordan? Well, fuck you! You ain’t getting this kind of information!

That’s what the internet told me back then. Honestly.

So, I started a project of my own. Back then, basketball-reference didn’t have any information about those two awards, so I had to gather my information from other websites, some of them dubious at best… Those were definitely the dark times.

Year by year I gathered the information, until I had all the data. At first the POM awards I had were from the start of the 1979-80 season, but the POW awards started from a couple of years later. That seemed reasonable to me, and I didn’t suspect anything. I mean – who knows, POM seems like a more prestigious award, maybe it’s logical that they started it earlier, like they started giving out MVP’s before the DPOY award.

But then I discovered some more POW lists in a different site, and they also started from 1979-80 (and inexplicably ended at the 1992-93 season K). Well, I did a little more digging, and eventually settled on that season as the beginning of these awards.

Years later, the lists for these awards found themselves on the BBR website, and also on a few others. But I like to do stuff old-school, and like “Los Pollos Hermanos”, I believe the old ways are the best (yo!). Therefore, I still keep tabs on them on my Excel and I like to rely on them. I update them with every week/month that passes in the NBA season, and it’s really fun doing it that way.

However, the most interesting aspect regarding those awards – how many times each player won each award, and who the hell are the all-time leaders – are not present on BBR or on some websites I checked. So, this will be the information I shall present here, for the convenience of everyone who is interested in this kind of weird shit like I am.

Like I mentioned before, the NBA apparently began handing out these awards starting from the 1979-80 season (unless you have some other information, for which I will be very grateful. Almost nothing saddens me more than some false sports statistics information). And, starting from the 2001-02 season, the NBA decided on separate POM and POW awards for the East and the West Conferences.

This is why the stats for those awards can truly reflect only the careers of the players from recent years. Well Michael, enough with the foreplay, let the lists begin!

One last thing: please, if you do see a mistake in these lists – let me know! Every time someone publishes incorrect sports statistics on the internet, an angel loses its wings. I definitely don’t want to be responsible for the extermination of angels, and I hope that you are too.

So, without Freddy Adu…

NBA Player of the Month Awards

LeBron James 27 Al Jefferson 2 Fat Lever 1
Kobe Bryant 17 Amar’e Stoudemire 2 Freeman Williams 1
Michael Jordan 16 Bernard King 2 Gary Payton 1
Shaquille O’Neal 12 Carlos Boozer 2 George Gervin 1
Kevin Durant 11 Chauncey Billups 2 Gilbert Arenas 1
Kevin Garnett 9 Chris Mullin 2 Grant Hill 1
Chris Paul 7 Derrick Rose 2 Hedo Turkoglu 1
Karl Malone 7 Glen Rice 2 Jamaal Magloire 1
Larry Bird 7 Jeff Ruland 2 Jamal Mashburn 1
Dirk Nowitzki 6 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 2 Jeff Hornacek 1
Dwight Howard 6 Kevin Johnson 2 Joe Johnson 1
Dwyane Wade 6 Scottie Pippen 2 John Stockton 1
Magic Johnson 6 Shawn Marion 2 Juwan Howard 1
Carmelo Anthony 5 Stephen Curry 2 Kelvin Ransey 1
Hakeem Olajuwon 5 Yao Ming 2 Kenyon Martin 1
Patrick Ewing 5 Alonzo Mourning 1 Lamar Odom 1
Allen Iverson 4 Alvin Robertson 1 LaMarcus Aldridge 1
Charles Barkley 4 Anfernee Hardaway 1 Larry Drew 1
David Robinson 4 Antoine Walker 1 Larry Johnson 1
Moses Malone 4 Baron Davis 1 Larry Nance 1
Paul Pierce 4 Ben Wallace 1 Mark Aguirre 1
Tracy McGrady 4 Blake Griffin 1 Michael Finley 1
Alex English 3 Calvin Murphy 1 Michael Redd 1
Chris Webber 3 Cedric Ceballos 1 Pau Gasol 1
Dominique Wilkins 3 Chris Bosh 1 Paul George 1
Jason Kidd 3 Clyde Drexler 1 Peja Stojakovic 1
Jermaine O’Neal 3 Dennis Rodman 1 Sidney Moncrief 1
Julius Erving 3 Deron Williams 1 Terry Cummings 1
Steve Nash 3 Detlef Schrempf 1 Tony Parker 1
Tim Duncan 3 Eddie Jones 1 Zach Randolph 1
Vince Carter 3 Elton Brand 1  

Well, it’s clear who number one is, right? Well, not so fast… LeBron played his entire career in the “Two POM awards every month” era, while Kobe had a couple of great seasons before the award was split to East POM and West POM. But Michael played his ENTIRE CAREER (what do you mean “Wizards years”? Never heard of them) during the time when only one award was given out every month.

So what we can do is split LeBron’s number of awards in half, and we’ll get 13.5 awards, which is still great and gives him third place overall. However, this is probably not a fair calculation – LeBron is so dominant that he would probably earn more than half of his awards if they were given only once. I guess his total would have been around 17 as well. AND he still has a few great years in him, so in the end he’ll probably be first anyway.

And just to wonder what the picture might have been had they been handing out this award back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s… Wilt would probably have like 20-30. And Kareem too. Russell? Nah, he was never into stats anyway…

Anyway, it’s really hard to obtain a POM award. Only 92 managed to accomplish that in the 35 years it’s being handed out. It is much easier to earn a POW award! All you have to do is to have a stellar week, a streak of 3 excellent games. Let’s see how the list looks for that award…

NBA Player of the Week Awards

LeBron James 45 Paul George 3 Elliot Perry 1
Kobe Bryant 33 Reggie Miller 3 Elvin Hayes 1
Michael Jordan 25 Richard Jefferson 3 Ersan Ilyasova 1
Allen Iverson 23 Ron Harper 3 Gerald Wilkins 1
Karl Malone 23 Sam Cassell 3 Greivis Vasquez 1
Tim Duncan 22 Tom Chambers 3 Gus Williams 1
Kevin Garnett 20 Zach Randolph 3 Harold Pressley 1
Shaquille O’Neal 20 Andrei Kirilenko 2 Herb Williams 1
Carmelo Anthony 18 Anfernee Hardaway 2 Hot Rod Williams 1
Dwight Howard 18 Antoine Walker 2 J.R. Smith 1
Kevin Durant 18 Antonio McDyess 2 Jamaal Magloire 1
Magic Johnson 18 Billy Ray Bates 2 Jamal Crawford 1
Dwyane Wade 17 Brad Miller 2 Jamal Mashburn 1
Jason Kidd 17 Cedric Ceballos 2 Jared Sullinger 1
Paul Pierce 17 Chris Kaman 2 Jason Terry 1
Dirk Nowitzki 16 Dale Ellis 2 Jayson Williams 1
David Robinson 15 Darrell Armstrong 2 Jeff Malone 1
Larry Bird 15 Dennis Johnson 2 Jeff Teague 1
Hakeem Olajuwon 12 Dennis Scott 2 Jeremy Lin 1
Patrick Ewing 12 Devin Harris 2 Jerry Stackhouse 1
Tracy McGrady 12 Eddie Johnson 2 John Drew 1
Charles Barkley 11 Fat Lever 2 Jordan Crawford 1
Clyde Drexler 11 Goran Dragic 2 Juwan Howard 1
Vince Carter 11 Greg Ballard 2 Kemba Walker 1
Chris Paul 10 Hedo Turkoglu 2 Kenneth Faried 1
Chris Webber 9 Jack Sikma 2 Kenny Anderson 1
Dikembe Mutombo 9 Jalen Rose 2 Kenny Carr 1
Dominique Wilkins 9 Jameer Nelson 2 Kenny Smith 1
Alex English 8 Jay Vincent 2 Kenyon Martin 1
Amar’e Stoudemire 8 Jermaine O’Neal 2 Kevin Grevey 1
Chris Bosh 8 Joe Dumars 2 Kurt Thomas 1
Russell Westbrook 8 Josh Howard 2 Lamar Odom 1
Steve Nash 8 Josh Smith 2 Larry Hughes 1
Tony Parker 8 Kevin Love 2 Lionel Simmons 1
Al Jefferson 7 Kevin Martin 2 Loy Vaught 1
Gilbert Arenas 7 Kevin Willis 2 Lucious Harris 1
Joe Johnson 7 Kiki Vandeweghe 2 Marc Gasol 1
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 7 Kyle Lowry 2 Mark Jackson 1
Moses Malone 7 Kyrie Irving 2 Markieff Morris 1
Pau Gasol 7 Larry Smith 2 Marques Johnson 1
Ray Allen 7 Marcus Camby 2 Maurice Lucas 1
Stephon Marbury 7 Mark Aguirre 2 Mehmet Okur 1
Alonzo Mourning 6 Michael Adams 2 Michael Carter-Williams 1
Baron Davis 6 Michael Finley 2 Mike Dunleavy 1
Bernard King 6 Michael Redd 2 Mike Glenn 1
Carlos Boozer 6 Mickey Johnson 2 Mike James 1
Chauncey Billups 6 Mike Bibby 2 Mike Newlin 1
Grant Hill 6 Mike Mitchell 2 Mo Williams 1
Isiah Thomas 6 Mitch Richmond 2 Mookie Blaylock 1
John Stockton 6 Otis Thorpe 2 Mychal Thompson 1
LaMarcus Aldridge 6 Peja Stojakovic 2 Nate Robinson 1
Shawn Marion 6 Phil Ford 2 Nikola Pekovic 1
Tim Hardaway 6 Rashard Lewis 2 Nikola Vucevic 1
Yao Ming 6 Richard Hamilton 2 Oliver Miller 1
Adrian Dantley 5 Rik Smits 2 Orlando Woolridge 1
Ben Wallace 5 Rodney Stuckey 2 Otis Birdsong 1
Brandon Roy 5 Rony Seikaly 2 Paul Millsap 1
Derrick Rose 5 Stephen Jackson 2 Pervis Ellison 1
Elton Brand 5 Terrell Brandon 2 Purvis Short 1
Gerald Wallace 5 Terry Cummings 2 Quentin Richardson 1
James Harden 5 Ty Lawson 2 Rajon Rondo 1
Kevin Johnson 5 Walter Davis 2 Rasheed Wallace 1
Larry Nance 5 Xavier McDaniel 2 Ray Williams 1
Monta Ellis 5 Aaron McKie 1 Reggie Lewis 1
Scottie Pippen 5 Al Harrington 1 Reggie Theus 1
Shawn Kemp 5 Al Horford 1 Rick Barry 1
Andre Miller 4 Allan Houston 1 Rickey Green 1
Ben Gordon 4 Andrew Bogut 1 Ricky Pierce 1
Blake Griffin 4 Andrew Toney 1 Robert Reid 1
Chris Mullin 4 Antawn Jamison 1 Rod Strickland 1
Dan Roundfield 4 Armen Gilliam 1 Ron Brewer 1
David Lee 4 Arvydas Sabonis 1 Roy Tarpley 1
George Gervin 4 Billy Knight 1 Rumeal Robinson 1
Glen Rice 4 Bob Hansen 1 Scott Skiles 1
Larry Johnson 4 Brad Daugherty 1 Scott Wedman 1
Micheal Ray Richardson 4 Bruce Bowen 1 Sean Elliott 1
Robert Parish 4 Byron Scott 1 Shareef Abdur-Rahim 1
Steve Francis 4 Caldwell Jones 1 Sidney Moncrief 1
Alvin Robertson 3 Caron Butler 1 Sleepy Floyd 1
Andrew Bynum 3 Chris Gatling 1 Steve Smith 1
Artis Gilmore 3 Chris Wilcox 1 Swen Nater 1
Brandon Jennings 3 Chuck Person 1 T.J. Ford 1
Buck Williams 3 Cliff Robinson 1 Terry Mills 1
Calvin Natt 3 Clifford Robinson 1 Terry Teagle 1
Derek Smith 3 Cuttino Mobley 1 Terry Tyler 1
Deron Williams 3 Danny Granger 1 Thaddeus Young 1
Gary Payton 3 Danny Manning 1 Tiny Archibald 1
Glenn Robinson 3 Darrell Griffith 1 Tom McMillen 1
Jason Richardson 3 David Thompson 1 Vern Fleming 1
Jeff Ruland 3 David West 1 Vlade Divac 1
John Wall 3 DeMarcus Cousins 1 Voshon Lenard 1
Julius Erving 3 Dennis Rodman 1 Wesley Person 1
Kelly Tripucka 3 Derek Anderson 1 World B. Free 1
Manu Ginobili 3 Drazen Petrovic 1 Zydrunas Ilgauskas 1
Metta World Peace 3 Drew Gooden 1
Nick Anderson 3 Eddie Jones 1

Well, the king rules here too! LeBron clearly leads the way, and even if we divide his number of awards in 2, he’ll still be nearly equal with Michael. No ambiguity here.

All in all, 287 different players won the award. About three times more than the POM number.

Have you noticed the Duncan anomaly? Timmy has 22 POW awards, which is reasonable for a great player like he is. That’s actually two more then Kevin Garnett’s total of 20. But look him up at the POM list: He has only 3!!! What in the name of all fucks?! Garnett has 9, which seems logical. But Timmy has only 3?! I’ll ask again – What the fuck happened there?!

Also – Steve Nash has only 3 POM awards! Do you get it? The dude has almost the same amount of MVP’s and POM awards! How the hell is that possible?!

An interesting game to play at your local bar would be to guess how many awards Wilt would have, had the POW award existed in his days…I think 60 is a fair guess.

And one more thing, it is interesting to look for players with more POW awards then POM. See if you can find them! Gotta catch them all!

Oh, I almost forgot – Scotland.


Hey, guess what! I have only one POM award less than Duncan!

Hey, guess what! I have only one POM award less than Duncan!

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