The NBA announced today that Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns was the recipient of the league’s Most Improved Player award. Dragic is one of three Suns players who received first place votes — another example of the Suns’ remarkable and unexpected success this season — and was predicted by most experts to win it this season.
On another note, what’s nice about NBA awards is that the league immediately releases the full ballots, showing individual media members’ selections. After a quick glance, one peculiar ballot stood out: Kevin Durant (1st), LeBron James (2nd), Blake Griffin (3rd). While Blake has most certainly improved his game this season, that trio reads more like an Most Valuable Player list, not Most Improved Player.
Clearly I made a mistake with MVP n MIP voting. My bad. In some ways, KD is the most improved player in game. My bad.
— Michael Smith (@clippstvsmith) April 23, 2014
Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. Clippers color analyst Michael Smith accidentally filled in the MIP line with his MVP selections, meaning we could be in for a bizarre ballot when the league MVP is announced in the coming days. Smith realized the mistake and revealed his true ballot, which had Anthony Davis first, and Dragic second.
It remains to be seen if Smith flip-flopped the two lines, or if he filled in his MVP choices twice. Either way, big time fail.