Local television and radio broadcasters employed by teams will no longer be a part of the NBA’s end-of-season award voting process, according to Indiana Pacers radio commentator Mark Boyle and Chicago Bulls radio commentator Chuck Swirsky. The pool of media members with votes is also smaller this year, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst -- while there used to be about 125 voters per award, this time the same 100 voters will determine every award.
Including team employees in awards voting has long been a contentious issue. While it is not impossible for a local broadcaster to do the requisite research and cast votes that are both informed and fair, it is difficult not to see the conflict of interest here. Teams often publicly push for their players to receive award consideration, and sometimes the broadcasters are involved in promoting them, too. Some of these broadcasters might be disappointed in this news, but there’s an argument that giving them votes was putting them in an unfair position in the first place.