On Wednesday, social media was bombarded with reactions to the election of a new pope. One simple puff of white smoke inspired over 7 million tweets, and that number continues to rise. In hopes of capitalizing on the worldwide buzz surrounding the papal conclave, the NBA has decided to totally revamp its performance award selection process.
Starting this season, the MVP, Sixth Man, DPOY, Most Improved Player, Rookie of the Year will no longer be decided by sportswriters and broadcasters. The league will instead move to a conclave format where the players will vote on each award while locked in a room at the league office. The winners will be announced via colored smoke from a chimney.
When asked why the NBA decided to make such a drastic change, Commissioner David Stern said, “7 million tweets? That’s an incredible number. The Charlotte Bobcats haven’t ever inspired 7 million tweets and they’ve been around for a decade. We think transitioning our award voting to this format will give us a new, exciting way to connect with our fans. Clearly people respond to the idea of a secretive and archaic voting process. We thought our previous method was secretive and archaic enough, but clearly we were wrong.”
As part of the press release, the league office released some specifics about the new voting process. After the final regular season game, all the players will fly to NBA Headquarters in NYC. The players will don specialized break-away cassocks and cast ballots for each of the five awards. A winner will not be chosen until one player receives the majority of the votes. To ensure complete voting secrecy, the players will surrender their cell phones before the doors are locked. However, to keep fans engaged with the process, the NBA will select two players to live tweet the proceedings with express instructions not to spoil the results. This year, the NBA has selected JaVale McGee and Tony Allen to live tweet because no one will understand what the hell they’re saying, and thus there’s no chance of spoilage. No report from the NBA on whether they’ll allow Pierre into conclave.
Chris Bosh will serve as Great Elector because, let’s face it, he’s never going to win one of these awards. Plus, he’ll look great in a super pointy hat. In this role, Bosh will be responsible for collecting each player’s votes, tallying the results, and managing the conclave’s Vine account. Each player in the running for one of the awards will be required to bring something to burn should they win. When burned, each unique item will give off a different color of smoke indicating the identity of the winner to the thousands of people gathered in the parking lot of NBA Headquarters and the millions of people following along on Twitter. Those of you questioning the validity of the last sentence from a chemistry standpoint are missing the point entirely. BallerBall was able to reach out to some of the favorites to see what they might burn if they won.
LeBron James wants to burn a #23 Cleveland Cavaliers jersey because he saw some guys doing it once, and it seemed like a lot of fun. Kevin Durant intends to burn a VHS copy of his feature film Thunderstruck. Rookie of the Year favorite Damion Lillard said he’ll burn a souvenir-size replica of the Lincoln Memorial in hopes that it will exorcise his highly irrational fear of statues. Our call with Kobe Bryant was filled with static, but it sounded like he said, “Smush Parker.” We were unable to reach Sixth Man of the Year dark horse Vince Carter, but we can only assume he would burn a Maple Leafs’ jersey just to stick it to Toronto one last time.
BallerBall will have more on this story details about the Conclave become available and be sure to look for Cavaliers’ gold smoke rising from the chimney sometime in mid-April.