Malcolm Brogdon has been named the 2023 Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
The New York Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley was largely considered his closest competition with the Milwaukee Bucks’ Bobby Portis also named as a finalist for 6MOTY. Ultimately, Brogdon received 60 first place votes with Quickley garnering 34 and Portis 6.
Here are the numbers from the team’s official PR release:
Brogdon was the only player in the NBA ranking in the top three in scoring, rebounding, and assists among players who didn’t start in a regular-season game as he finished with 14.9 points (1st), 4.2 rebounds (3rd), and 3.7 assists (2nd).
Brogdon finished the year ranked fourth in the NBA in three-point percentage with a career single-season high 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. He tied Ray Allen (2010-11) for the third-best single-season three-point percentage by a Celtic since 1979 behind Allen’s 2011-12 season (45.3%) and Al Horford this season (44.6%).
“From day one, Malcolm has eagerly embraced his role as a game changer off the bench,” said Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “His emphasis on winning has been reflected daily in his work, his play, and his selflessness. Malcolm winning the award named after John Havlicek, an all-time Celtic, could not be more appropriate.”
For Hondo’s first seven seasons in Boston, he came off the bench as an NBA All-Star for four straight years until he joined the starting lineup. Red Auerbach is credited for popularizing the use of a designated sixth man in order to get a boost from a bench and have a versatile player with the second unit. Brogdon fittingly becomes the first player to win thehonor after it was renamed after Havlicek and the third Celtic to win the award, joining Kevin McHale (1984, 1985) and Bill Walton (1986) and a long list of starter-level players to suit up in green.
At the end of the regular season, Brogdon spoke openly about playing his first season in Boston as a sixth man and the sacrifices he’s made.
“Coming off the bench, it can be a challenge at times, to be honest. Having a career where you start your whole career and then you come off the bench, there are nights where you gotta suck it up,” Brogdon said.
“You’re not going to score as much or play as much, but I think that’s what makes a great team, having guys that are able to do that, having guys that are able to sacrifice. Because it’s not me sacrificing every night. Every night, it’s a different guy.”
It’s that mentality that has fortified the defending Eastern Conference champs and made them even better heading into the playoffs — all according to plan if you ask Brogdon.
‘That’s everything to me,” Brogdon said about being part of a contender. “I want to win. The two seasons for me (in Indiana) were rough not being able to win. I’m a winner. I feel like I’ve been known as a winner, I want to be known as a winner when I’m done playing in this league, and I want to win at the highest level and that’s winning a championship.”
“Being in Boston, being a Celtic fits me perfectly.”