Every year the NBA takes a survey of its 30 GMs, asking them to forecast the upcoming season. This year, the 28 GMs who responded to the survey gave the majority vote to the L.A. Lakers to pull off the three-peat, and Kevin Durant to win MVP.
The Lakers got 63 percent of the vote when GMs were asked who would win the 2011 championship, while Miami got 33 percent. The Celtics got the remaining 4 percent. Durant got 67 percent of the “Who will win MVP?” votes, while Kobe Bryant got 26 percent. LeBron and Dwight Howard got just one vote apiece. Durant was also picked as the player with which most GMs would want to start a franchise.
John Wall was the overwhelming pick to win Rookie of the Year (68 percent), Deron Williams was chosen as the NBA’s best point guard (60 percent), Kobe as the top two-guard (86 percent), LeBron as the best small forward (68 percent), Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol tied for best power forward (29 percent), and Dwight was named best center (96 percent). Asked which player they’d want to take the last shot with the game on the line, 79 percent took Kobe.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. All year long — through the Draft and free agency and the trade deadline and when contract extensions are handed out — fans and media won’t hesitate to tell the world how stupid NBA GMs are. And it’s not just guys like David Kahn (Minnesota), Chris Wallace (Memphis) and whoever is making decisions for the Clippers. If championship-ring-rocking Mitch Kupchak (Lakers), Danny Ainge (Boston) or R.C. Buford (San Antonio) makes a bad move, the people will call them out and submit public applications for their jobs.
And yet, watch how many times the GM poll will be utilized this season as argument ammo:
* “You’re crazy, the Magic aren’t going to win the championship. Not even one NBA GM picked them to win it!”
* “No way LeBron wins MVP. Only one GM said he’d get MVP.”
* “You want Paul Pierce taking the game-winning shot? You know the asked the NBA GMs, and like 80 percent of them said Kobe would get the last shot, right?”
Again, it’s all about the co-sign. Apparently no matter where it’s coming from.
Who do you think will win the 2011 NBA championship?
Who will win MVP?
Who will win Rookie of the Year?
Who is the best PG, SG, SF, PF and C in the League?
Who would you pick to start a franchise around?
Who do you want taking the last shot?
And while we’re here, who is going to win the World Series?