With every NBA team playing exactly or close to 41 games, it’s time to hand it out some midseason (odd) awards. And no, I’m not going to distributing those monotonous awards such as MVP, DPOY, ROY, and worst of all, Most Improved Player of the Year award. Because I’m sorry NBA, but it is sort of expected of a player to see a jump in scoring when they average 15 more minutes and 10 more shots per game. Anyway, today’s slate of awards will include Polarizing Player of the Year, Underrated Player of the Year, Lovable Player of the Year, Hateable Player of the Year, Bench Player of the Year, and “You Know What You’re Getting” Player of the Year.

Polarizing Player of the Year

Winner: Ben Simmons

I don’t think I’ve seen the script flip on a player (with basically no justification) so quickly as fans have turned on Ben Simmons. Last year, Simmons was “the next LeBron James.” Now, Simmons is averaging basically the same numbers across the board with slightly better efficiency and he’s a “tall Rajon Rando.” He’s still one of the most dangerous and versatile point guards in the league. But just because he doesn’t want to practice shooting the ball form 26 feet away from the basket, fans have rendered him an “average” player.

Underrated Player of the Year

Winner: Tobias Harris

I tend to bring up Tobias Harris a lot, but the national media has yet to give him the recognition he deserves. This year, Harris is averaging 21 points and 8.2 rebounds on 50/42/88 shooting while leading a Los Angeles Clippers team that sits at fourth in the western conference. Yet, in the first All-Star returns, Harris trailed Kyle Kuzma, Draymond Green, and Demarcus Cousins. Yes, the Demarcus Cousins that has not played a single second of basketball this season. A Draymond Green that is already on a team with three other all-stars, and a Kyle Kuzma that is not as good of an offensive player as well as an abysmal defender. That is the cast of players that you, the fans, voted in over Tobias Harris. You should be ashamed.

Loveable Player of the Year

Winner: Joe Ingles

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If you don’t love Joe Ingles, he either cut you off at the elementary school drop off zone, or you’re an Oklahoma City Thunder fan and your mad that he’s effectively better than Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined. He’s a forty-five-year-old dad that can knock down the three, run the pick and roll, and annoy your favorite player all the while. Oh yeah, he also has an alternate ego. I, along with you, could only dream of being half as amazing as Jingling Joe.

Most Hateable Player of the Year

Winner/Loser (I guess): Draymond Green

It’s way too easy to hate Draymond Green. “He looks like a donkey, he can’t score, he’s wearing a backpack when he shoots, he’s a dirty player.” And it’s the “dirty player” part that acts as a catalyst for everything else. Because he is labeled as “dirty”, it’s easy for fans to criticize his lack of scoring (even though there are virtually zero shots for him to take) and his emotional play style while ignoring everything else he does for the Warriors. It also doesn’t help that Draymond loves the hate which makes the fans want to hate more, looking for a negative reaction. I’d imagine it gets pretty exhausting.

Bench Player of the Year (basically sixth man of the year)

Winner: Derrick Rose

I’ve seen a lot of fans that don’t care about the Timberwolves but love Derrick Rose who want him to be inserted into the starting lineup. But why? He’s thriving in his role off the bench (averaging 19/3/5 on 48/46/83 shooting) and could very well not only make the all-star game but win Sixth Man of the Year. Which, by the way, would greatly increase his chances at a Hall of Fame selection. Obviously, if you’re a Timberwolves fan you want them to put out the best possible lineup, but why not take one for Derrick Rose and let him add another accolade? What else are you going to do this season? Get swept in the first round? How about we all agree this is the Season of Derrick Rose and whatever is best for him, we do. And right now, he should be sitting the first two minutes of every game, then play the next 40 minutes.

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