NBA Social Media Awards 2012: Notable Candidates for First Annual Accolades

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 15:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball ahead of Kawhi Leonard #2, Boris Diaw #33 and Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 15, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 108-92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Eric Gay-Pool/Getty Images)
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Social media has saturated virtually every facet of today's culture. Now, the NBA is getting involved like never before.

The first annual edition of the NBA's Social Media Awards will air Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on NBA TV. The show will be hosted by former Los Angeles Laker teammates Rick Fox and Shaquille O'Neal.

There are 12 categories in all. Some include breathtaking plays from throughout the season while others recognize in-studio analysts who've left their mark on the game in multiple ways. 

Watching Shaq meander through his hosting gig will be hilarious, but the awards themselves shouldn't be overlooked.

Let's take a look at some notable nominees for Wednesday night's groundbreaking honors.


Gerald Green

I'll throw Green a bone here because he will probably never be nominated for a "real" award in his NBA career. 

But the guy can dunk. There's no doubt about that. 

Green's high-flying earned him a nomination for The Social Slam Award. The dunk itself came against Houston on March 10. If you haven't seen it yet, that has to change this second. 

He's been a YouTube sensation since his high school days. Green won the 2005 McDonald's All-American High School Dunk Contest and has provided a handful of highlights in the NBA. 

Other nominees include Blake Griffin (twice), LeBron's embarrassment of John Lucas III and Paul George's breakaway windmill against the New Orleans Hornets. 

If I had a vote, I would go with Green.

But don't act like Griffin won't win. We all know he will. 


Jeremy Lin

On February 10, Lin dropped 38 points on the Lakers. He outplayed Kobe Bryant and expedited the rise of "Linsanity". 

This performance earned Lin a nomination for The EPIC Award. The honor highlights major performances, or moments, from this past season. 

Lin's meteoric rise in the NBA is extremely well-documented. He was arguably the league's biggest storyline this season, and he helped revive a distraught Knicks' fanbase. 

Other nominees include Carmelo Anthony's 43 points against the Bulls, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook's combined performance against Kevin Love and the quadruple-overtime classic between Atlanta and Utah.

Given Lin's hype, I would be shocked if he didn't take home this accolade.


JaVale McGee

This award show mostly portrays positive moments, but The LOL Award isn't an award you want to have your name attached too. 

McGee is used to that. His bloopers and bizarre antics are well-known. 

On February 7, against Toronto, McGee missed a floater, didn't see his teammate pull down the rebound and proceeded to run back down the court. 

He completely missed the fact that his team was still on offense. 

This awkward (and hysterical) moment gives McGee social media recognition even though he would probably prefer not to have it. 

Former Wizard teammate Nick Young is also nominated. Vince Carter's air ball, Blake Griffin's horrendous free-throw attempt and Corey Brewer's mid-air paralysis are McGee's competition for, what I would call, the Homer Simpson (Doh!) Award. 


Blake Griffin

The only thing that could keep Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins from winning The Social Slam Award is his nomination in another category.

Griffin's dunk (throw?) is also up for The "Got Game" Award. His throwdown was on ESPN highlight reels for, what seemed like, months.

He could bring home both awards, but I feel like we should spread the love for the show's first go-around. 

For this category, Griffin faces competition from a Durant game-winner, Danilo Gallinari's behind-the-back pass, the LeBron leap and Rudy Fernandez's over-the-head pass to Kenneth "Manimal" Faried.

The competition will be stiff, but Griffin will definitely take at least one award home. 

Be sure to tune in Wednesday night. The awards are fun, Shaq is entertaining and this has never been attempted before. 

Success, or flop, it will be worth watching.


If you want to see the highlight of other nominations (besides what I have here), click here