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Spencer Dinwiddie: ‘No way I shouldn’t have won Most Improved’

NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Media Day Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Spencer Dinwiddie was a finalist for last season’s Most Improved Player and in fact was the only Net to get ANY votes in the post-season award compilations. Jarrett Allen didn’t get votes for Rookie of the Year. Sean Marks didn’t get votes for Executive of the Year.

But as he told Michael Grady of the YES Network, that was definitely not enough, definitely not rewarding. Dinwiddie believes — strongly — that he should have won the award, noting that if the award was truly about improvement, development, his narrative should have won the day... beating out the ultimate winner, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and second place finisher, Houston’s Clint Capela.

“In terms of Most Improved Player race ... and I love Vic, I love Clint Capela ... there’s no way I shouldn’t have won that,” the fourth year pro told Grady. “Vic had great years for four years, had one down year, then an even better year and they were like, ‘Aw man, look, he played bad for one year and then he played well. He didn’t just suddenly suck at OKC. The fit and everything didn’t work out for him.

Similarly, Dinwiddie thinks that Capela, who finished second to Olapido had an advantage

“Clint Capela played very well but at the same time due to the dynamics of the team, he got a chance to come in and do his job. And he excelled at it. BUT he got to do his job.”

Those two scenarios pale beside his, Dinwiddie argued.

“Whereas if you look at the story like I was cast aside,” he said with a smile. “You know I was in the D-League. I came in, on Brooklyn, I wasn’t supposed to play last year either. They had JLin and DLo. They both got hurt and obviously after that I had a nice run. The numbers were off the charts. You talk about advanced analytics and I was getting to the rim and creating points at an efficiency on par with James Harden.”

Now, Dinwiddie says he'll have another chance to advance, to improve. He notes subtly that he will be in a contract year and he hopes he can parlay individual and team improvement.

“Ideally, we can make the make playoffs, keep improving. We all got big years coming up. That’s no secret. If you win, play the right way, it all takes care of itself.”

On Thursday, Dinwiddie spoke with the media after practice about his comments. Michael Scotto, of The Athletic, shared the full statement on Twitter.