Extremely real and absolutely official NBA awards from the first month of the season

Nov 25, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (right) goes up for a dunk over Phoenix Suns center Alex Len in the first quarter at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (right) goes up for a dunk over Phoenix Suns center Alex Len in the first quarter at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The first month of the 2016-17 NBA season has come and gone, so let’s take a few minutes to look back on some of the best moments and hand out some well-deserved awards.

Best Dunk: Zach LaVine

Poor Alex Len. He could save others, but he couldn’t save himself.

Best Buzzer Beater: Eric Bledsoe

There haven’t been too many buzzer beaters to choose from this year, but even if there were a few more, it’s hard to imagine one would top Bledsoe’s effort from early in the season against the Blazers. A step-back fadeaway 3 in overtime right in Damian Lillard’s face? Ya, that’s pretty good. (And the celebration wasn’t too shabby either.)

Best Assist: Chris Paul

Dude, what, why are you even throwing that pass? Congrats to Chris Paul for bringing the “no, no, no…yes!” reaction to passing. A true innovator.

Best Block: Jonathon Simmons

Three years ago, Jonathon Simmons paid 60 bucks for the opportunity to attend an open tryout with the San Antonio Spurs’ D-League team. On opening night of the 2016-17 NBA season, he chased down the league’s unanimous two-time reigning MVP for a showstopping block.

Best Trick Shot: Isaiah Thomas

Okay, the Matt Barnes’ accidental 3-pointer was pretty funny, but sorry, I cannot give an award for the best trick shot to someone who wasn’t even trying to shoot. Therefore, Isaiah Thomas takes home this title for his ridiculous over the backboard flip that was unjustly not counted as continuation.

Best Triple-Double By Russell Westbrook: Russell Westbrook

So, you’ve probably heard by now, but Russell Westbrook is pretty good at basketball. A quarter of the way through the season, he’s currently on pace to become the first player to average a triple-double for the whole season since Oscar Robertson. But which one of his nine (10) triple-doubles this season was the best?

For that, we have to travel back to the Thunder’s second game of the season, when Westbrook dropped 51 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists on the Suns to record the first 50-point triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabaar back in 1975.

Oh, also he scored the game-winning basket with just over seven seconds left in overtime.

Best In-Arena Moment: Phoenix Suns, Lion King Cam

Look, the Lion King Cam is the best form of in-arena entertainment around. It’s simple, it’s recognizable, it’s funny. And honestly, if teams were smart they would ditch the lame old Kiss Cam and start using the Lion King Cam on a nightly basis.


Best Quote: Dwight Howard

This summer, Dwight Howard decided to return home to Atlanta and sign with the Hawks. He also decided to have a little fun at his mom’s expense. Ever the jokester, he told her he had received a great contract offer from…the Utah Jazz. His mom, apparently, did not find that so great.

From Howard’s appearance on The Doug Gottlieb Show

“She started crying. I said, ‘Mom, I’m sorry, I was just joking. I’m coming home to Atlanta.’ She was super happy. My family was super excited. This city has been great.”

Best Use Of Time After Condensation On The Court Cancelled A Game – DeMarcus Cousins and Matt Barnes

Earlier this week, the Kings were supposed to play the Sixers in Philadelphia, but the court was too wet from condensation, and after a delay, was cancelled altogether. But since the Kings were expecting to play that night, their flight wasn’t scheduled to take off until later in the evening, which left them waiting around the visitor’s locker room in the Wells Fargo Center. And gosh dangit, DeMarcus Cousins and Matt Barnes were going to make the best of that time.

An unexpected night off from work + Cheesesteaks + Hennessy = True happiness.

Best Use Of Instagram Location Setting: Joel Embiid

After two long years of foot injuries, Joel Embiid has finally had the opportunity to step onto an NBA court, and after a month, he looks like the truth. He won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month after putting up 18.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks a night. The Sixers still have the worst record in the East, but Embiid helped them to four wins in November, which was four more wins than they had in that month in the last two seasons combined, so I’d say they’re on the right path.

Off the court, Embiid has also shown signs of a promising career, most notably when he owned Hassan Whiteside with the use of Instagram’s Location Setting.

Joel barbecued him, yung.

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Best Distraction Of An Opponent: Jason Terry

Jason Terry hasn’t been doing much on the court for the Bucks this year, but now it’s extremely clear why they signed him this offseason. This kind of veteran savvy is invaluable to a young club like the Bucks.

Sidenote: A few months ago, the very same J.R. Smith who left the court during play to dap up Jason Terry, resulting in his man getting an open layup, was a key part of the Cavaliers coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to beat one of the best teams the league has ever seen. God bless J.R. Smith. God bless the NBA.

Best Use Of A Chair: Ben Simmons

One day we’ll get to see Ben Simmons on the court with Embiid and company, but for now we’ll have to settle for the mental image of him throwing post entry passes to his young front court teammates.

Move aside Yi, there’s a new Chairman in this league.

Best Fan Of Vince Carter: Woman Who Traveled 14 Hours To See Him



Best Casual Sip Of Beer During An Interview – Klay Thompson

Look, Klay Thompson is just trying to bring us back to the days when it was okay to “down a six-pack of beer after every game without ever taking the rings off the cans.” Shoutout Dave DeBusschere.

Best Shirt Featuring Doris Burke: Drake

Did anyone else wear a shirt with Doris Burke’s face on it while sitting courtside at an NBA game in which the home team was honoring them? Well, no. Was Drake’s shirt still the best shirt featuring Doris Burke? Umm, yes.

Best Celebration: Marc Gasol

The cool thing about hitting game-winning 3-pointers on the road? You don’t have to apologize to anyone.

Best Tweet: Evan Turner

Hell yeah.

Best Paper Airplane Design – Klay Thompson

*Extremely Hayley Williams voice*

Take a look at this airplane, in the media room, from a shooting star.


Thank you, thank you, I’ll be waiting on my Grammy nomination.