When you think about promotion for the NBA’s MVP and various other awards given out in April and early May, the first thing you think about is how they affect the environment, right? If you’re Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, you do. As Kerr met with the local media earlier this week, he discussed his thoughts on how some teams campaign for their players to win awards without thinking about the resources used — or in Kerr’s opinion, wasted:
“Seriously, like I’m going to change my mind because somebody sent me some little (thing) that’s just going into the landfill and is bad for the environment. If the NBA is really into Green Week, they should ban MVP and all other award promotion.”
Take the Houston Rockets, for example. Their campaign for star James Harden involved sending out a hard-bound book that included a video message and three large cards on the inside covers that pointed out some of Harden’s most impressive stats.
Warriors point guard Steph Curry is also one of the heavy favorites to win the NBA’s MVP Award. Kerr knows that and does, in fact, want Curry to win it. But the Warriors used a more conservative — and much more environmentally friendly — way to make their case for Curry: calling over 120 media members and pointing out his efficiency as one of the best in the league. They also noted him as a leader for a Warriors team that had a franchise-best 67 wins in the regular season.
Kerr isn’t the only head coach in the NBA who has a problem with teams sending out marketing campaigns for their players. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke out in January after teams — including the Houston Rockets — sent items to Pop to campaign for their players for a roster spot on the NBA All-Star Team. He actually described the marketing ploys as “little packages of propaganda”.
“We got some interesting things in the mail from people who are politicking for their guys. And for everybody who sent me something, I just want them to know it immediately went in the trash can. Such pandering is embarrassing. We got it from several places and it immediately went in the trash can.”
Maybe Kerr and Popovich have a point here. The environmental aspect could be a whole separate issue, but are teams pushing the envelope when it comes to promoting their players for awards? Sure, the campaigns are, for the most part, clever and very well done. But are extensive marketing promotions really going to sway voters to vote for a certain player? Probably not. At the end of the day, the NBA’s MVP Award should go to the player who proved to be the most valuable player to their team — not whose team put together the best marketing campaign.