NBA held their first ever NBA Awards show on Monday night in Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City. Russell Westbrook grabbed the MVP Award for his incredible 2016-17 season.
Russell Westbrook is the 2017 NBA MVP after averaging a triple-double across a historic season. The superstar beat out Houston jet James Harden and San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) 27 June 2017
Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, and was the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple double for a season.
Draymond Green added the NBA Defensive Player of the Year to the NBA title with Golden State Warriors. He won the award ahead of other nominees – Kawhi Leonard (Spurs) and Rudy Gobert (Jazz).
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni won the Coach of the Year Award after leading the Rockets to the third seed in the Western Conference. D’Antoni took the Rockets from 41-win team to a 55-win team one in just a season. The other nominees were Gregg Popovich (Spurs) and Erik Spoelstra (Heat).
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player at the event, hosted by rap megastar — and NBA superfan — Drake. Antetokounmpo became the first player in league history to finish top-20 in all five major categories, which were points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He beat Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Denver Nugget’s Nikola Jokic for the award.
Houston Rockets sharpshooter Eric Gordon was named Sixth Man of the Year — the best player to come off the bench for the majority of the season. Eric Gordon averaged 16.2 points during the 2016-2017 season, shooting 37 percent from the 3-point line. He made 246 threes during the year, which was more than everyone except the star-studded list of James Harden, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Malcolm Brogdon won the Rookie of the Year Award, beating out Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. Brogdon averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 assists as a valuable role player on a playoff squad; sharing the point guard minutes with Matthew Dellavedova.
Former superstar centres Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson and Dikembe Mutombo presented Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell with the NBA Lifetime Achievement Award.
And the 11-time NBA champion Russell got the biggest applause of the night; after eyeballing each one of them and then playfully telling them “I would kick your a**”.
Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki was the Teammate of the Year. Assist of the Year went to Golden State stars Green and Steph Curry. Kawhi Leonard won the Block of the Year and Victor Oladipo’s double clutch rim rattler over Dwight Howard against the Atlanta Hawks was named Dunk of the Year.
Steph Curry just throws it up & KD flushes it home! 👀 https://t.co/BFKnzbfVnn
— NBA TV (@NBATV) 6 December 2016
Never-say-die Houston defensive dynamo Pat Beverley added the NBA Hustle Award to his All-Defensive First Team berth.
Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker recieved the NBA Sportsmanship Award — he’s a gun; but respected by his peers enough for them to garner the majority of their votes.
Westbrook’s clutch three that eliminated the Denver Nuggets from the playoffs was the Game Winner of the Year; he scored 50 points, with 16 rebounds and 10 assists; giving him his record-setting 42nd triple-double of the season.
Klay Thompson’s remarkable 60 points in 29 minutes — with just 11 dribbles — was the Best Performance of the Year.
NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant’s huge three pointer to kill off the Cavs in Game Three of the Warriors’ title run was the Best Playoff Moment.
Durant for three…it’s good! Kevin Durant from downtown, and Golden State takes the lead! pic.twitter.com/81G5YX6D5c
— Liam (@KDsIntellect) 8 June 2017