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San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings

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Every year the NBA has their official awards ceremony, crowing the leauges top achievers across the league. As the players anticipation awaits, The Athletic provided us with an appetizer  ‘players only’ league awards.

The official NBA awards voting process is conducted by key members of the sports media, including writers, broadcasters and media personalities. The Athletic took multiple players and officials from the league who remained anonymous, to give the publication their desired winner for said category.
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The questions that The Athletic conducted in this anonymous survey included:

  • MVP
  • Greatest player of all-time
  • Most overrated player
  • Most underrated player
  • Best Defender
  • A player you’d least like to fight
  • Current coach you most want to play for
  • Current coach you least want to play for
  • A player to build a franchise with from scratch
  • Favorite Non-NBA athlete

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The Athletic launched its first NBA player poll in 2019, with 127 players answering questions about league matters. According to The Athletic, players participated so honestly in the survey because of the anonymity they were granted. After COVID-19 brought the anonymous awards to an abrupt halt, three years went by until the publication was able to hold another popular player poll,  which hit triple digits again last year (108 players).

Take a look at the winners from The Athletic 2024 Anonymous NBA Player Poll below!

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1. Nikola Jokic (MVP)

Denver Nuggets v Memphis Grizzlies Source:Getty

2. Michael Jordan (G.O.A.T)

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls Source:Getty

3. Rudy Gobert (Most overrated player)

Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game One Source:Getty

4. Jalen Williams (Most underrated player)

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Source:Getty

5. Derrick White (Most underrated player)

Miami Heat (94) Vs. Boston Celtics (114) At TD Garden Source:Getty

6. Victor Wembanyama (Best Defender)

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings Source:Getty

7. James Johnson (A player you’d least like to fight)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Brooklyn Nets Source:Getty

8. Erik Spoelstra (Current coach you most want to play for)

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Play-In Tournament Source:Getty

9. Tom Thibodeau (Current coach you least want to play for)

New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls Source:Getty

10. Victor Wembanyama (A player to build a franchise with from scratch)

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings Source:Getty

11. Lamar Jackson (Favorite Non-NBA Athlete)

AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Source:Getty