Coach of the Year. Rookie of the Year. MVP. These are the awards that people think about when it's awards season time in the NBA.
However, after all of our grades and other analysis, we're not going to give you the typical awards. Instead, the HQ is bringing our own twisted swan song on the year that was 2008-2009.
The "Sorry, Hardly Knew Ya" Award - Hassan Adams
Hassan Who? At 12 games and around four minutes per game, we'll forgive you if you've forgotten about Hassan Adams. Touted as a defensive stopper who honed his craft in Europe, Adams quickly invoked images of a stouter Fred Jones and a more athletic P.J. Tucker. Unfortunately, most people only remember him for his towel-waving antics as he rarely played. Meanwhile, other players who competed against him from the free agent camp where he was selected (Dontae Jones and James White) are still playing in the post-season for clubs. It was another curious decision by Colangelo and heck, by the end of the season Adams was overshadowed by our eventual winner of the JYD Towel Waver of the Year Award. Hassan, we hardly knew you.
Best JYD Towel Waver of the Year Award - Jake Voskuhl
Yup, Hassan Adams threw his hat into the ring, but Jake Voskuhl took over and took the cake as the season ran down. Bigger, with more arm length to generate top towel-waving speed, Voskuhl dominated Adams after he was signed. Perhaps if Nathan Jawai hadn't been out for most of the year, Big Jake would have had some other competition but this was really a one-man race, especially post Hassan. What, you thought Patrick O'Bryant was going to challenge for the title? Considering O'Bryant could barely bring himself to stand and clap after a Raptors' dunk, he had no chance.
Energizer Bunny of the Year Award - Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Does anyone get the feeling that Pops does everyday activities with the same energy and need to "tear down the rim"? Does he scratch his lottery tickets with that much energy and flare? How about when he opens a jar of pickles? All that we fans know is that it's been a joy to watch Pops Mensah-Bonsu smile and go after "it" every single second he's on the court.
The Anderson Varejao Worst Hair Award - Chris Humphries with the 'fro (and yes, I will refer to him as "Chris" with that hair)
Chris Humphries lost most of his street cred at the beginning of the year thanks to his decision to grow out his hair. However, that hair also produced some of the most focused work that we've seen from the big lug we love. When Chris cut his hair and simply became Kris, we saw a return to the shot-lovin', dribble happy, "I got the skillz to pay the billz" Humphries that we all dreaded. But for about a month of pre-season into regular season, Humphries was like Samson and his invincible coif.
The Jalen Rose Interviewee of the Year - Kris Humphries (From Deep - Ask Hump)
There have been no more laugh-out-loud moments than hearing Kris Humphries get interviewed by one Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail. Witness Kris get his Hump on with Nikki Reyes. Or read about Kris's off season 3-point regimen. They're so hilarious that they have to be real-life conversations!
I'm a Fighter, Not a Lover Award - Calderon vs Garnett
In this corner, we have the intimidating, muscular, seven foot Kevin Garnett. In the other corner, we have the firey and passionate Jose Calderon. In what could be deemed the best non-fight of the year, Calderon didn't back down from the clearly bigger Garnett. Garnett yelled and screamed at everyone around him. He got the refs to back down. He got the announcers to back down. He got the Raptors to back down, save one. Calderon took it as a challenge to his pride, and in a season lacking toughness, this encounter stands out to me as the fight of the year.
The Broken Clipboard Award for Frustration - Jamario Moon
Imagine you had a player that never read scouting reports. Imagine that player was your starting small forward. Imagine that for one night in Atlanta, that player made so many critical mistakes that your normally polite and fairy reserved star player called him out in the middle of the game. For frustrating all of us with his dangerously low basketball IQ and mismanagement of skills, Jamario Moon gets the coveted Broken Clipboard Award of 2009.
The Charles "You So Crazy" Oakley Award - Will Solomon for arguing every call against him like he's Michael Jordan
It was a cold November day when Will Solomon was inserted into a game against the Miami Heat. Because Solomon was as effective a wet paper bag stopping a bowling ball, he kept fouling the Heat. For 16 minutes, Solomon netted one point, but what was astounding was just how many calls he was arguing with the refs about. He seemed to keep it going for the entire 16 minutes he was on the floor and even picked up a technical to boot. For thinking that he deserves the same calls as Dwayne Wade, Will Solomon gets the Oak.
And that concludes the awards for 2009. If there are any others you feel should be included, please drop us a line at:
RaptorsHQ 2009 Throwaway Awards
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