Clippers’ Norman Powell peeved by Sixth Man of the Year snub

Los Angeles Clippers' Norman Powell plays during an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 27, 2024, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)

Norman Powell thinks he’s overdue some respect in the award race.

The Los Angeles Clippers guard was peeved that his name was left off the list of finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year award, calling it “BS” in a response to a question from ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk on Tuesday.

“I mean I think it’s BS, to be honest,” Powell said. “I mean I don’t know what else you got to do to be a sixth man.”

The three finalists for the award were announced on Sunday, with Sacramento’s Malik Monk, Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. and Minnesota’s Naz Reid earning the top-three point tallies.

The winner of the award will be announced on Wednesday.

Powell has a right to be miffed over his exclusion from the final list, as the Clippers guard finished with 13.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 48.6 per cent from the field and 43.5 per cent from long range.

He was especially lethal from the corners, as his 54.7 per cent mark from the corners led the league for shooters who would take at least 1.5 attempts per game from there.

Compared to the three finalists, Powell has the highest true shooting percentage (62.6), effective field goal percentage (59.4) and three-point percentage (43.5). His efficiency has been especially key as his touches have gotten more limited when playing alongside guys like Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Paul George.

“This year, the most efficient off the bench, given the fact that I’m playing with four Hall of Famers,” Powell said. “Limited touches, role decreases and I’m still able to put out the same amount of production as the three finalists that were picked. I think it sucks.”

The former Raptors guard also missed the mark last season, finishing fourth in Sixth-Man voting with Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon eventually taking home the award. Powell led the field in bench scoring with 17.0 points a game.

“I think it’s politics, publicity and people aren’t actually looking at the details of the game,” Powell explained. “Guys get a few highlight dunks and get posted on social media and that’s what it is. Nobody’s posting my threes like that. So I mean it’s just tough.”

Despite his frustrations, Powell wanted to make it clear that his priority is still winning as a team rather than taking home the individual awards.

Having won the title with the Raptors in 2019, he knows that the best platform he’ll get to maybe voice grievances or hand a big told-you-so to the rest of the competition will be if he gets to win another.

“At the need of the day, the main focus is to win a championship,” Powell said to Youngmisuk. “It would be nice to be recognized for the work and everything I’ve done to help this team contribute to winning and being a 50-win team … But I have a lot more to say if we win the championship at the end of the year.”

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