In what will surely be a personal highlight of his professional career, 76ers forward Amir Johnson took home the coveted 2017-2018 NBA Hustle Award last night, diving across the floor to scoop up the loose award before it could clatter into the hands of another nominee.
Yes, I can assure you, the NBA did give a “hustle” award during last evening’s riveting NBA award show, which also featured such highlights as Ben Simmons winning the ROY, James Harden winning MVP, and Bill Russell flipping off Charles Barkley (and anyone who wasted time watching this atrocity) for some reason:
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 26, 2018
The NBA keeps measurable “hustle stats” during the season, taking into account pass deflections, charges taken, diving on the floor for loose balls, and setting screens that lead to direct baskets, among other “gritty” statistics.
Patrick Beverly, who won the inaugural award a year ago, may or may not have worn a shirt with Amir’s likeness and the words “no hustle” scribbled across the top of it.
Johnson edged out Pacers forward and ex-76ers Thaddeus Young to take home the award.
According to NBA.com, this is how the hustle scores were calculated:
- Players who played minimum of 50 regular season games and at least 15 minutes per game were eligible.
- The five Hustle Stats measured were Screen Assists, Deflections, Loose Balls Recovered, Charges Drawn, and Shot Contests.
- Players were compared by position (G/F/C) within each stat on a per-minute basis.
- Within each stat, a metric was calculated for each player based on his relative performance.
- The five metrics were summed together to determine players’ aggregate scores, with Amir Johnson earning the highest score.
- Thaddeus Young, Larry Nance Jr., Ben Simmons and Anthony Davis rounded out top five.
Johnson finished top-10 overall in the “charges drawn” and “screen assists” categories. He also averaged 4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks on the season.
All hail Johnson, the king of hustle.