Reports suggest NBA is close to signing agreement to set games-played minimum for MVP and related awards

4 min read
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Reports suggest that the National Basketball Players Association and the league have been continuously meeting to reach agreements over a new threshold for being eligible for award-winning. The latest is a deal that assures players have to play in a minimum of matches required to participate for regular season prizes like Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. 

First reported by Shams Charania, the journalist insider suggests that they’ve already agreed upon the concept, but are yet to define how many games will we required. As there is already a rule that players should be a part of at least 58 games out of regular season’s 82 total contests to be entitled to statistical honors, we are guessing the number will be around there.

A great example of this is James Harden, who informally holds NBA’s best assist average with 10.8 per game, but has only participated in 50 games so far. Unlike, Altanta’s Trae Young, who’s already played 62 matches with a 10.1 average, and is officially eligible to become the league’s best in handing out assists. Either way, the Sixers star is only eight games away from reaching the game minimum.

If this rule was to be imposed by the NBA, it would help a voting process that has lacked guidelines in the past. For example, the MVP usually creates a lot of toxicity around it, as many of the stats taken into consideration sometimes can have different interpretations. Two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, for instance, has been bullied around basketball fans who consider Giannis Antetokounmpo was more award-worthy than the Serbian.

Is it reality or is it just blind faith by franchise fans? The truth is, the more regulations, the clearer the rules of engagement. Maybe this way we can avoid former players such as Kendrick Perkins suggesting that the experts voting for the awards are racially biased, and stiring up drama around the NBA.

If we head into the past, we could’ve avoided a lot of controversy with these new agreements for awards. Ever since the NBA changed to a 82-contest schedule in 1968, the only player who would’ve lost the honors for MVP would be Bill Walton, who in 1978 played less than 70 matches and still earned the title.

This isn’t the first time it’s been an issue left to resolve

At the end of last season, NBA Comissioner Adam Silver was asked about the need to reach better guidelines for award-contenders, as well as finding a healthy way to deal with load management.

“We would definitely look at a minimum number of games to be eligible for awards,” he stated in interview nine months ago. “There is a minimum of games now but I think we should raise that. And we are also gonna look at other incentives for those star players to be on the floor. And again, wanna make sure we find the right balance, we are not looking for force guys to play through injuries of course.”

However, Silver is direct when reminding everyone around the league that they are supposed to entertain, not just compete. “On the hand, especially as the media world is changing and it’s more of a direct consumer model,” he said. “People are only gonna wanna pay for what they are actually gonna watch. Everyone who is part of this league has to understand we are part of the entertainment business.”

Check out the full interview in the following video below:

Just two weeks ago, a collective bargaining agreement was to be settled also between the NBPA and the league, as load management and star player availability have been polemic issue left to resolve. Both sides concur over the fact this will be settled in the near future.

Antonio is a life long sports enthusiast and professional journalist, who shares an obssesive urge to find and dig up the most interesting facts to guide gamblers towards more exciting, yet safe bets. In his own words, ''you can never really know enough about the things you love''.

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