Courtney Sims, the 6'11" center from Michigan, has been named the D-League's MVP this season. Prior to his call-up to the Knicks on March 23, Sims was leading the Energy with 22.8 points per game, while shooting 61 percent (277-of-458) from the field to go along with averages of 11 rebounds and two blocks per game. Twice called-up by the Phoenix Suns this season, Sims appeared in one game for Phoenix this season and has yet to appear in a game for New York.
I can't disagree with this decision. Iowa's performance this season without him has shown just how valuable he really was to this team. Since joining the Knicks, the Energy are 1-6, losing a valuable lead on the Central Division. Sims was the most dominant in the D-League and definitely deserved this award.
When I talked to Coach Nick Nurse earlier this season, he had this to say about Sims:
"Courtney is a very talented scorer at 6-11... he has tremendous touch and skill with his shooting and moves around the post... continues to develop new ways to score... has a good right hand jump hook, but his turn around is coming and his face up shooting, even out to three, will be very good eventually... if he continues to improve in the next 12 months as much as he did in the last 12, he should be playing in the NBA... has work to do with his running and strength, both of which are better than they look (and better than average), but he needs to get better in these areas."
From Chris Alpert, D-League basketball op's:
"Courtney is a perfect example of what our league is about.. He has utilized the NBA D-League as an opportunity to develop his skills and as a platform to showcase his ability to NBA teams. It's nice to see his hard work is paying off and it's encouraging to see our coaches recognize Courtney's impact he has on his team's success. Courtney has demonstrated all season that he is a top NBA prospect and we wish him the best with the New York Knicks."
Sims joins Ansu Sesay (Greenville, 2002), current New Orleans Hornet Devin Brown (Fayetteville, 2003), Tierre Brown (Charleston, 2004), current Dallas Maverick Matt Carroll (Roanoke, 2005), Marcus Fizer (Austin, 2006), Randy Livingston (Idaho, 2007) and Kasib Powell (Sioux Falls, 2008) as winners of the NBA Development League Most Valuable Player Award.
Others that RU would have considered for the award are Marcus Williams (Austin) and Josh Davis (Colorado). Erik Daniels (Erie) may also have deserved a mention.