National media members disrespect Sacramento Kings once again

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings
Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Despite the disappointing early end to this Kings’ season, there were still some things to look forward to. One of those things was watching Malik Monk receive the well-deserved Sixth Man of the Year award. 

Monk led the league in total points off the bench, total assists off the bench, and most 20-point games off the bench despite missing the final month of the season. He also ranked third in total minutes played off the bench behind only Norman Powell and Bobby Portis. 

For most of the season, it seemed that Monk had the Sixth Man of the Year award secured before he suffered his season-ending knee injury. The stats backed up his case, and everyone who was watching the Kings or paying attention to the team knew that he was irreplaceable off the Kings bench. He grew insanely as a playmaker, provided crucial scoring, and delivered several crazy clutch performances

Malik Monk loses out on Sixth Man of the Year award

Despite all that, Kings fans, coaches, and players did not get to see Malik Monk win the award he so desperately wanted. The 26-year-old could be a starter in this league, but he made sacrifices in Sacramento, coming off the bench because his team needed it, and it would have been nice to be recognized for that. 

Instead, voters gave the award to Naz Reid by an incredibly narrow margin. Reid is the first Timberwolves player to win the award and the first big since Montrezl Harrell in the 2019-20 season. 

All this is not to say that Reid did not deserve to be considered for this award. He was great off the bench for one of the best teams in a competitive Western Conference and stepped up when Karl-Anthony Towns went down, and the Timberwolves needed him to start. 

The big man put together a great season, but Monk should have been the Sixth Man of the Year. He is the first player in 35 years who didn’t win the award while leading the league in bench scoring for two consecutive seasons. It seems that this year, voters were affected by recency bias and wanted to reward the best bench player on one of the best teams in the league. 

Voters continue to disrespect the Sacramento Kings

We all know that big markets and legacy teams get the most attention and coverage from the national media. This season, ESPN’s NBA Today panelists seemingly discussed the Los Angeles Lakers and their playoff chances every day, even though there were better and more interesting teams to talk about. Small markets just don’t have the same appeal. 

Kings fans are used to the national media and award voters disrespecting the Sacramento Kings. Just this season, neither De’Aaron Fox nor Domantas Sabonis got the All-Star nod from media members and coaches alike, even though Sabonis had as good of a case as anyone, and now Monk lost out on an award as well.