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NBA COAST TO COAST

All the awards fit to print

Mark Heisler picks his best and worst of the NBA for 2009.

April 19, 2009|Mark Heisler

All the awards fit to print

My annual Iconoclast Awards, not like anyone else's, by whatever means necessary:

Most Valuable Player -- Chris Paul, New Orleans; Dwyane Wade, Miami; and LeBron James, Cleveland (tie).

Without them, their teams aren't even in the playoffs.

Runners-up -- Kobe Bryant, Lakers; Dwight Howard, Orlando; Paul Pierce, Boston.

Most Valuable Patient -- Tracy McGrady, Houston; entire Clippers franchise (tie).

NBA Exceptionalism Award for $15-million- to $20-million-a-year players who'll be playing for the $5.5-million veteran's exception -- Allen Iverson, Detroit; Stephon Marbury, Boston; Wally Szczerbiak, Cleveland.

Defensive player of the year -- Howard.

No. 1 in blocks and rebounds dwarfs James' highlight-reel "catch-up" blocks, even if Cleveland may secede from the NBA if LeBron doesn't get this too.

Coach of the year -- Larry Brown, Charlotte. In the best compliment of all, no one is saying a word about him, as if it was assumed he'd get the Bobcats in the race.

Runners-up -- Doc Rivers, Boston; Mike Brown, Cleveland; Stan Van Gundy, Orlando; George Karl, Denver; Phil Jackson, Lakers.

Executive of the year -- Danny Ferry, Cleveland.

Delonte West, Szczerbiak and Ben Wallace took a while to pay off, but, with Mo Williams, give them a shot at the title they may need to keep James.

Mitch Kupchak doesn't count because he was my winner last season when the Lakers turned it around.

Runners-up -- Mark Warkentien, Denver; Donnie Walsh, New York; John Paxson, Chicago; Mike Dunleavy, Clippers.

Warkentien's deal for Chauncey Billups turned them around.

Walsh dumped more than $100 million while going from 23 wins to 32 in his debut, though the local media still want to know when he'll win something.

Close to quitting, Paxson made the deal for John Salmons and Brad Miller that turned the Bulls around, after owner Jerry Reinsdorf called the season "a disaster."

With the Clippers in shock after losing Elton Brand, Dunleavy got Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Zach Randolph and Eric Gordon. It would've looked even better if more of them actually played.

Crummy Coach of the Year -- Dunleavy; Don Nelson, Golden State (tie).

Nelson warred with his players all season. Dunleavy should have.

Crummy Executive of the Year -- Robert Rowell, Golden State.

Ousted GM Chris Mullin in a coup that sucked in Nelson, who tried to get rid of Jamal Crawford, whom he had just acquired, by advising him to opt out of his $9.4-million-a-year deal, with Monta Ellis hot to trot after having the possibility of having his contract voided held over his head.

Crummy Agent -- David Falk. Took Brand to Philadelphia for a few more bucks, but mostly to make a splash for his own purposes, which is why Falk does anything.

Rookie of the Year -- Derrick Rose, Chicago.

Five more, Gordon, Russell Westbrook, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and Brook Lopez, may become All-Stars, but Rose is special.

Loretta Summers Heisler Award for my worst call -- That Boston bench turned out OK, didn't it?

The Billups-Iverson deal was a joke, all right, just not the way I said it would be.

I thought Marbury would be huge in Boston. On the bright side, unless he summons his dark side and starts shooting, we won't have to endure those misunderstood-Steph stories.

If you remember something else, remind me at my e-mail address: t.j.simers @latimes.com.

-- Mark Heisler

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