The harder one works at a particular skill, the more he is bound to improve. The driven players of the NBA take this to heart with hopes of winning the Most Improved Player Award.
Ever since being established in 1985, this award has been given out to the likes of Danny Granger, Monta Ellis and Kevin Love. Once green players, fresh out of school, just looking to make some sort of impact in the game, these men have gone on to become stars after being recognized as the league's most improved player.
In terms of the upcoming season, this is where the true beauty of the award lies. The fact is that literally any player can win it, because the only clear criterion is that a player's role expands from what it was the prior year. In 2012-13, plenty of young up-and-comers and maybe even a veteran or two will find themselves in the mix for this award that, in some cases, could result in a lucrative contract.
Forward Ryan Anderson was crowned winner for the 2011-12 campaign and this past summer, and he signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the New Orleans Hornets.
Yet, there can only be one winner this season and once the season is a month or so old, the true contenders will be separated from the pretenders. Once the dust starts to settle, this small handful of players could very well raise the bar regarding what to expect from those in the running to win the NBA's Most Improved Player Award.