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NBA removes team-affiliated media from award voting

Paul George, Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (23) tries unsuccessfully to block the shot of Indiana Pacers’ Paul George (13) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)


The few years of the NBA releasing individual voters’ award ballots has revealed something deeply troubling:

Those paid by teams tend to vote for players on those teams.

Shocking, I know.

But the league is rectifying that problem.

Pacers radio play-by-play broadcaster Mark Joseph Boyle:

This is a great change and long overdue. It wasn’t fair to anyone involved.

Team-affiliated media were in a difficult spot. Take Boyle, for instance. Should he vote Paul George for All-NBA? Doing so could look biased. Not doing so could enrage his employer and/or George. It’s impossible to remove those realities, no matter how committed Boyle wants to be to submitting a fair vote.

And the stakes are high. Millions of dollars and George’s future in Indiana could be on the line based on whether George makes All-NBA.

Not every team-affiliated voter views that dilemma the same way. Some shamelessly pick players on their team. Others lean toward fair selections. The dichotomy creates an imbalance in voting.

The voting process will never be perfect, but this is the biggest and simplest step in the right direction.