The NBA officially presented Danny Granger with the Most Improved Player award today. Throughout all of the interviews I've heard, Danny vowed to work on his defense. Considering the results of his hard work to date, there's no reason to think he won't show some major improvement again next year.
The award was sponsored by KIA Motors so the company will donate a Borrego SUV or Sedona minivan on behalf of Granger to the Shepherd Community Center. Also, once in front of the microphone Danny was loose and let his personality shine.
Here are a few links with stories and interviews about the announcement:
Indiana Pacers official press release on the MIP announcement.
“I’m honored, flattered and surprised,” said Granger, the Pacers’ No. 1 pick (17th overall) in the 2005 draft. “This is, above anything else, a team award and a franchise award because it is another indication the Indiana Pacers are moving in the right direction. This franchise has been through a lot so this is rewarding for everyone involved. The individual recognition is humbling, but team success means more to me than anything else and I will work as hard as I ever have to improve and get the Indiana Pacers back to the playoffs where they belong.”
- Bruno's Caught in the Web explains that the award was a surprise to Danny. So much so, that the announcement was delayed because Granger was in Italy on vacation since he didn't expect to win.
- Press conference video clips.
- After the press conference, Danny was on the radio with Dan Dakich (audio link). Danny defended his much maligned singing ability, preferring to think of his vocals as somewhere between Usher and Michael Jackson.
- Cliff Brunt's initial AP report.
Jeff Rabjohns reports on the MIP announcement, including Granger taking a little jab at his boss's age.
In introducing the Pacers forward as the NBA’s Most Improved Player this season, Bird referred to Granger as “a hell of a player.”
“I watched Larry play probably when I was in diapers,” Granger said with a laugh. “It’s a great honor to have him congratulation you on the type of success you have. It speaks wonders.”
- Skeets breaks down the MIP vote and wants to see the KIA in the batcave.