Local broadcasters who are employed by NBA team will no longer be eligible to vote for NBA awards, according to a report from James Herbert of CBS Sports. For the Sacramento Kings, this means that Grant Napear and Gary Gerould will no longer vote for awards such as MVP, All-NBA teams, or Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, I think Grant and the G-Man both took these responsibilities seriously and have a pretty good track record of being well-informed and fair to opponents, and they are simply the unfortunate casualties of other broadcasters who were far more biased.
This is a good move for the league as a whole, though. Local broadcast teams are notoriously slanted against anyone other than the team they’re covering. In recent years the NBA has tried to address this by increasing transparency and publishing the votes that each voter cast. As these awards have multi-million dollar ramifications for the players and teams involved, it makes sense that the NBA try to improve the process wherever possible.
There will also be changes to how many media members vote for the awards, and which media members will have votes.
The pool of media members with votes is also smaller this year, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst -- while there used to be about 125 voters per award, this time the same 100 voters will determine every award.
We don’t yet know the full list of who will have votes, but there are still areas of concern. For example, the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones has long held a vote, but publicly admits he doesn’t subscribe to league pass because he doesn’t want to pay for it out of pocket.
I think it’s ultimately for the best that the league is taking these steps to improve the awards voting process, but it’s unfortunate that Grant and Gary will lose their votes because their colleagues didn’t take the process as seriously.