Every year just before the start of the regular season, all 30 general managers around the NBA take a survey of what teams and players they think will win the NBA Finals, MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc. The 2014 GM survey was just released, and I noticed a few things that I totally disagree with. I usually don’t read too much into any of it, but I have to let my feelings be known this time around. Nobody ever said that a GM knows best, but they should know more than they appear to. It seems as if they get too tied up into the popular choices rather than closely evaluating teams and players. According to NBA.com, here are a few questions they were asked and some of the more ridiculous answers they came up with:
Which team will win the 2014 NBA Finals?
1. Miami Heat – 75.9 %
2. Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs – 6.9 %
3. Chicago Bulls, L.A. Clippers, and OKC Thunder – Split the remaining votes
Now, I’m going to try to act like I’m not totally irritated by these choices, but take note, I’m not happy about this. The GM’s vote for the Miami Heat isn’t a surprise, but what does surprise me is the large amount of votes they gave to the Heat. Last year, the Heat received 70 percent of the votes. After struggling to get to the Finals they proceeded to struggle even more to win the championship, and you’re telling me that their chances are better this year? I’m just not buying it. A number of teams have improved their rosters in major ways. It’d seem that the Heat’s chances are easily tougher than the year before. I could see if maybe 60 percent or less thought they’d win, but 75.9 percent is just outrageous. To make matters worse, the Oklahoma City Thunder barely made the list. Being topped by the Indiana Pacers and being deemed equivalent to the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers doesn’t make any sense to me.
Which team will win the Pacific Division?
1. L.A. Clippers – 89.7 %
2. Golden State Warriors – 10.3 %
Really? You’re telling me that the Clippers are that much better than the Golden State Warriors? I just don’t see it. While the Clippers do deserve to be ahead in the race after winning the division last year, they don’t deserve to be 89.7 percent favorites. The Warriors are a young team that have clearly gotten better. They may have lost Jarrett Jack, but they gained Andre Iguodala. Igoudala will bring a new dimension to the young bunch. A dimension that only a few players in the league could bring. His versatility is second to none. I personally expect the Warriors go deeper in the playoffs than the Clippers, just as they did last year after the Clippers were eliminated in the first round. The Warriors are the better team at this point. I don’t know how almost every GM in the league missed this one.
Which player has the best basketball IQ?
1. Chris Paul – 33.3 %
2. Steve Nash – 16.7 %
3. Tim Duncan, LeBron James – 13.3%
5. Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo – 6.7%
This one has me ready to just stop typing. This is just a classic case of hatred towards Kobe Bryant. You’re telling me that after 18 seasons, five NBA Championships, and one MVP, that Bryant’s IQ doesn’t surpass every player in the league? Wow, these GMs need to question their own IQ at this point. Bryant is clearly the smartest player in the NBA. These guys have him barely making an appearance — An appearance that is shared with Rajon Rondo. While I don’t doubt that these are a very smart group of players, they just don’t have the time and rings that Bryant has. His credentials will always speak louder than words, even through all of the constant hatred he endures. Bryant may never get the respect he deserves. It’s truly sad that someone with so much talent is constantly overlooked in the eyes of his peers.