I have not followed the NBA closely since 2016. However, I am working on a few article projects for The New Leaf Journal focusing on interesting NBA points, primarily from when I followed the league closely (1997-2016). See, for example, my pair of articles from last year on the Detroit Pistons’ 2003 NBA Draft and the 1997 trade which gave them the second pick in that Draft. I am in the midst of writing an article on the 2001-02 NBA MVP race, wherein Tim Duncan narrowly won the honor over Jason Kidd, but not without controversy (spoiler for my take: Mr. Duncan was the clear MVP). For that reason, I was happy to see that Basketball Reference, which I use for all of my NBA articles, just added awards voting information to its main player tables. While award voting sometimes goes sideways and specific awards do not age well (e.g., had Jason Kidd won the MVP over Tim Duncan…), I think it adds valuable context to how the media viewed specific players at the time they played.

Sports Illusrated, fresh off an AI article controversy, selected Colorado Buffaloes college football coach Deion Sanders as its Sportsperson of the Year. Mr. Sanders took over as head coach at Colorado after the football team went 1-11 in 2022. Sports Illustrated noted that the team improved greatly in Coach Sanders’ first season:

As for the actual football? It’s been an adventure. Colorado is massively improved over 2022, when it was by far the worst Power 5 program. The Buffaloes were outscored by 29.1 points per game last year, compared to 6.7 this year

The team lost its final six games to finish 4-8. While that is better than the 1-11 record Colorado posted in 2022, it is still sub-par.

Sportsperson of the Year is a nebulous award, But a college football coach coming off a 4-8 season, regardless of the circumstances leading up to the season, does not seem like a likely candidate. If they want to honor Mr. Sanders, why not wait 2-3 seasons to see how Colorado football looks after Mr. Sanders has more time to build the program in his image and bring in his recruits? What award be left to give Coach Sanders if Colorado is 11-1 at this point in 2025?

On the other hand, if the Sportsperson of the Year award is to honor sports figures who give human and AI journalists things to write about, the eminently quotable Coach Sanders had one of the best cases in 2023.

(I would have submitted now former Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher for earning $76.8 million to not coach Texas A&M.)

I came across an article noting that Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers was walked three times in a 3-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Divisional Series, breaking Barry Bonds’ 2003 record of 8 for a divisional series. I am not a baseball fan and am not following the playoffs, but I took note of the article since I recently wrote about some of Barry Bonds’ more absurd intentional bases on balls and regular walks records, with a focus on 2001-2007. There is one major difference between Bonds’ 2003 NLDS and Seager’s 2023 ALDS. 6 of Bonds’ 8 walks in the 2003 NLDS were intentional whereas only one of Seager’s 9 walks in 2023 were intentional.