You can make a difference!
Here’s the proof: Reader Philip N. left this question for me in the blog comments the other day:
“Kevin, Pau Gasol won the western conference player of the week again for the second week in a row. Andrew Bynum has won the honor once this season and Kobe Bryant has won it twice this season also. Lamar Odom’s name was mentioned as a candidate to win the honor as well this past week. Has there ever been a team that had three (or four) different players win the player of the week award in the same season? Did that team end up winning the championship?”
I thought it was a worthwhile inquiry, so I passed it along to Josh Rupprecht and Nick Mazzella of the Lakers’ public-relations department, and they got on it. With the help of the NBA, they got the answer … with the last item serving as a motivational nugget for Lamar Odom to step it up a bit more and grab the Player of the Week honor he just lost out to Gasol.
“Since the inception of the NBA Player of the Week Award prior to the 1979-80 season and the subsequent division of the award by Conference beginning in 2001-02, three players on the same team have now earned Player of the Week 12 times including this season (7 times prior to conference division). With Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors this season, the Lakers are the first team since Phoenix and New Jersey in 2004-05 to have three players earn the honor in the same season. Most recently, the Phoenix Suns’ Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion each won Western Conference Player of the Week twice during the 2004-05 season while the New Jersey Nets’ Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson all earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week during the 2004-05 season as well. No team has ever had four players earn a Player of the Week Award during the same season.”
Two teams with three players winning weekly honors have made the NBA Finals: Houston in 1980-81 (Mike Dunleavy, Moses Malone, Robert Reid) and New Jersey in 2002-03 (Lucious Harris, Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson). Neither won the title, though.