Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson wins NBA Most Improved Player Award – NBA Update
Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic on Friday was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2011 – 2012 season. Anderson had a breakout year in the shortened NBA season and the voters deemed him worthy of the Most Improved Player Award after consistent
The 23 year old received the Award at the Amway Center, the home of the Orlando Magic.
The player was joyous on the occasion and expressed his pleasure as well as satisfaction at receiving the prize. Ryan said that achieving such a feat seemed unreal at the start of the season and therefore he was happy to have made it happen.
"It's very surreal for me to be sitting where I am today," Anderson said. "A year ago if you would have said I would be the Most Improved Player, I'd probably laugh at you in the face. This year has just been a culmination of a lot of different things and
a lot of different people helping me."
Four Magic players have won the award before Anderson, including Scott Skiles, Darrell Armstrong, Tracy McGrady and Hedo Turkoglu. McGrady and Turkoglu are still active; in fact Hedo is at the Orlando franchise right now.
Anderson won the award in his fourth season as an NBA player. He had the opportunity to play as a starter this season and the forward utilized his diverse skill set to become a very potent offensive weapon.
While Ryan plays at the power forward position, he has become feared for his sharp shooting from beyond the arc. In fact, he became only the second player in the NBA to play power forward and lead the league in 3-pointers made.
Magic General Manager Otis Smith was pleased for the player and believed he had a bright future ahead of him. Smith also hinted that Anderson, who will be a restricted free agent in the summer, is part of Orlando’s plans and is in line for a pay hike.
"He did the work and made himself into a better basketball player," Smith said. "He's in the first part of receiving his dividends. ... He's making me look like a genius for making the trade."
The Magic are currently on the back foot in their post season campaign because of injury to super star centre Dwight Howard. The situation has placed additional burden on the shoulders of Ryan Anderson and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.