I don’t know why the WNBA sends the official awards ballots with the tag “Post-Season.” Probably because that’s when they are awarded. But to be clear, this is my ballot based on the 2012 regular season.
It’s not based on a player’s career resume. And I didn’t lob off the pre-Olympic break unless it made a difference in the playoff race — hence Atlanta and New York.
I did break one of my cardinal rules and voted for a player not in the postseason. It was Chicago C Sylvia Fowles for WNBA second-team because voters were made to select players by position. I love this rule. But couple it with my personal criteria and I would have Ann Wauters on the list. Sorry Wauters, you’re a key piece to Seattle’s postseason run, but did not play like the second-best center in the WNBA this season.
One other note I’ll make does stem from the past. I voted Storm PG Sue Bird for MVP. I may get my eligibility revoked for future voter selections, but I don’t care. I’m taking a stand for what I believe.
I said on a Dishin and Swishin preseason podcast that the WNBA is a PG’s league, which the respected Mechelle Voepel concurred. I watched, yet again, all season as PGs like Bird, Lindsey Harding and Lindsay Whalen directed their teams through massive comebacks, meltdowns, and injuries to stay afloat and in some cases rise above expectations.
Then I listened to telecasts. Over and over I was pitched Connecticut C Tina Charles for MVP but told Bird was the “best point guard in the world.”
Really? Then why, again, has there never been a WNBA point guard MVP. NBA star Steve Nash is a two-time MVP while PGs Allen Iverson (2001) and Derrick Rose (2011) have also won. Bird can’t win once?
She, like the rest, is the facilitator of the offense. True, a lot has to also do with what a Charles or Wauters does when they get the ball. But if it’s not in the right place or moved in the right play, it’s most likely not going in the hoop.
And every God Bless America award shouldn’t be based solely on statistics. If so, design an algorithm to select the winners and write the stories. I’ll stick to also considering critical analysis from actually watching majority of the games with an unbiased eye.
Bird, whose team was 0-5 without her this season, is my MVP.
Call me whatever you want. I’m standing by that and the rest of my selections.
Here you go:
MVP (pick five)
1. Sue Bird
2. Lindsey Harding
3. Tina Charles
4. Candace Parker
5. Kara Lawson
Defensive Player of the Year
Most Improved Player
Sixth Woman of the Year
WNBA First Team (by position)
F Rebekkah Brunson
F Candace Parker
C Tina Charles
G Lindsay Whalen
G Sue Bird
WNBA Second Team (by position)
F Tamika Catchings
F Sophia Young
C Sylvia Fowles
G Kara Lawson
G Lindsey Harding
Rookie of the Year
Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award
*PHOTO CREDIT: WNBA awards designed by Tiffany & Co. for regular-season awards posted on Twitter by the league.