What follows are league picks for its Best Five Team, supposedly the best five players for the first six seasons. Unfortunately, media have never voted, which is ridiculous. Votes have never be revealed, either. This smacks of closed-door decision-making at its worst.
* The 2005-06 Best Five team was comprised of guards Yukinori Suzuki (Oita) and Matt Lottich (Osaka) and forwards William Pippen (Tokyo), Michael Jackson (Sendai) and center Nick Davis (Niigata).
* The 2006-07 quintet featured guards Cohey Aoki (Tokyo) and Rasheed Sparks (Takamatsu), forwards Lynn Washington (Osaka) and Andy Ellis (Oita) and Nick Davis (Niigata).
* The 2007-08 All-League group included guards Naoto Takushi (Ryukyu) and Mikey Marshall (Osaka), forwards Andy Ellis (Oita) and Reggie Warren (Takamatsu) and center Patrick Whearty (Sendai).
* The 2008-09 Best Five were guards Naoto Takushi (Ryukyu) and Michael Gardener (Hamamatsu), forwards Bobby St. Preux (Sendai) and Lynn Washington (Osaka) and center Jeff Newton (Ryukyu).
* The 2009-10 squad included guards Cohey Aoki (Tokyo) and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Kyoto), forwards Wendell White (Hamamatsu) and Michael Parker (Fukuoka) and center Julius Ashby (Tokyo).
* The 2010-11 top five was guards Takumi Ishizaki (Shimane) and Wayne Arnold (Hamamatsu) and forwards Jeffrey Parmer (Hamamatsu), Michael Parker (Fukuoka) and Anthony McHenry (Ryukyu).
*The 2011-12 Best Five included guards Jermaine Dixon (Hamamatsu) and Masashi Joho (Toyama), guard/forward Kevin Palmer (guard/forward), forward Justin Burrell (Yokohama; regular-season MVP) and center Atsuya Ota (Hamamatsu).
If the league wanted to be considered a true professional league in the public's eye, it would release all votes from every award category — Best Five, MVP, Coach of the Year, Most Improved Player, etc. — to show everyone what the numbers were.
This isn't a pro-democracy gathering we're talking about. It's basketball, fun and games, boys and girls, and should be treated as such. Besides, releasing the information can lead to interesting debates.
Consider this: The Japan Football Player of the Year Awards, which featured the votes of 202 soccer writers, was announced in February. Popular national team player Keisuke Honda won the top honor. This story received major exposure in print and broadcast media, as well as on the Internet.