MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
Vince Carter ... the streak continues. Remember, without considerable ability and the illusion of high expectation, there's no reason to be as disappointed in someone else. LEAVE BAD ENOUGH ALONE AWARD
While we applaud Elton Brand for battling back into the L.A. Clipper lineup for the closing two weeks, why jeopardize the draft-lottery status by threatening to help them win games now? MOST PERPLEXING PLAYER
We understand that the Phoenix Suns may have been unwilling and/or unable to pony up yet another unreasonably high contract, but how can Shawn Marion not recognize a perfect situation when it's slapping him in the face? MOST SHAMELESS HALL OF FAMER
In Miami, Shaquille O'Neal moved with the spunk and purpose of an arthritic elephant. Two weeks in Phoenix and he's launching his body into the expensive seats.
We should either embrace the lack of humidity or salute the genius of the Suns' medical and training staff. Too bad they have no cure for free throws. MOST CONFOUNDING TEAM
This has nothing to do with that insane winning streak; the Houston Rockets deserve the notice for winning 22 games in a row and not finding themselves head and shoulders above their Western Conference pals. MOST SHAMEFUL DEFENSIVE TEAM
This is not the Golden State Warriors, whose coach skips any pretense of defense. We're also excluding the young Sonics, whose ace rookie still seems unable of guarding a bear in a phone booth.
The Denver Nuggets survived this difficult elimination process by going absolutely matador despite suiting up the league's reigning Defensive MVP (Marcus Camby) and playing for a coach (George Karl) who used to demand a little resistance. MOST DISAPPOINTING COACH
By leaving his team to scout the NCAA Tournament, supporters of Pat Riley would say he coaches the Miami Heat with abandon. MOST DISAPPOINTING ROOKIE
Acie Law, the 11th pick of the 2007 draft, has given the Atlanta Hawks 4.1 points and 2.0 dimes per game.
On the bright side, his poor rookie season inspired a deal that brought Mike Bibby from Sacramento. MOST CONFOUNDING EXECUTIVE
Man, this was a tough call.
We could go with Isiah Thomas for actually believing that adding Zach Randolph to Eddy Curry would work. Paxson was in contention before getting rid of Ben Wallace.
Chris Wallace of the Memphis Grizzlies deserves some notice for trading Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown; sure, Kwame's expiring contract will bring cap relief, but how many skilled free agents are coming to play for Memphis?
After a great deal of soul-searching, our choice is Donnie Walsh, who hasn't exactly been hot in Indiana and thinks taking over the New York Knicks will be some kind of hayride. LET'S HOPE HE'S NEVER A GM AWARD
The winner is Bryant, who -- if he had the final say in the Lakers' personnel dealings -- would have enabled the New Jersey Nets to line up Andrew Bynum at center for the next 15 years.