In an exciting change to the past and in a radical move into the future, the race for the Sal’s NBL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award will be played out in public on a weekly basis this season.
The concept was raised by the league’s newly-appointed General Manager Justin Nelson and embraced by all nine teams with everyone seeing it as a great way to connect with the fans.
“Often touted as the a biggest individual award in basketball, the race for the MVP is the most discussed and anticipated award, so I wanted for us to share that with the fans on a weekly basis and give them plenty to talk about,” explained NBL General Manager, Justin Nelson.
“The teams instantly got it and they share the same vision, they want basketball in the media and all the fans out there talking about the games and the best players every day, not just when the weekend rolls around.”
The new format will see each coach vote for the best three players in their own team after every game, and also vote for the best three players in the opposition team. Meanwhile, the referees will get together after the final buzzer and vote for the best three players overall from the game.
The votes from each game will then be made public on a Tuesday morning, allowing everyone to see who picked up the votes from every game played each round.
A the end of the regular season, the top 10 vote-getters will be in the running for the Sal’s NBL top award, the MVP.
The coach from each team (9), a media representative from each of the teams’ regions (9), plus league officials (2) will then vote on the final 10 players. This panel of 20 will ultimately deliver the final set of votes, all of which will be locked away and won’t be read out until the league’s annual awards night in July.
“It’s an engaging way of deciding the league’s top individual award and will create lots of talk each week when we find out who the coaches and referees voted for at each game,” said Nelson, adding “The final voting system is also a great way to get the media representatives in each region involved. We want them to be invested and included.
"The best part is we won't know the winner until the awards night when we open 20 envelopes and read out the final votes."
The Sal’s NBL 2019 season tips-off on Thursday April 11 when the Manawatu Jets host the Supercity Rangers. Defending champions, the Southland Sharks, open their season at home on Sunday April 14 when the Canterbury Rams pay them a visit.