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The First NBA Awards Was a Success

In the inaugural NBA awards, we saw some NBA Greats and current players dressed in their best. There were a number of awards handed out, including a few new ones such as “Sportsmanship,” and the “Hustle Award.”

The NBA and TNT joined forces for this event and got Drake to host. As a result, with Drake comes the spoils with performances from Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz.

Nicki Minaj put on a jaw-dropping show. {Getty Images for TNT / Michael Loccisano}

HARDEN BOUT TO RISK IT ALL AND DONT CARE WHO SEES ? This is the greatest sports league on Earth — ??R?B PEREZ?? (@World_Wide_Wob) June 27, 2017

Moments from former NBA coach Monty Williams and Legend Bill Russell stole the show. With Drake as host, the event was surprisingly personal and insincerity of most large awards shows. Including a digital short with Will Ferrel and Demar Derozan the show spoke to both NBA enthusiast and those who enjoy from afar.

That is why the NBA used this new platform to show case assorted plays and distinguish individual accomplishments. Those they honored included:

  1. Russell Westbrook: Best Style, Game-Winner of the Year

  2. Stephen Curry/Draymond Green: Assists of the Year

  3.  Kawhi Leonard: Block of the Year

  4.  Victor Oladipo: Dunk of the Year

  5.  Kemba Walker: Sportsmanship Award

  6.  Klay Thompson: Performance of the Year

  7.  Kevin Durant: Playoff Moment 

While most people came to either hand out an award or receive one, most viewers really wanted to see who won one award, the MVP. Even though it was technically a five-player race most of the conversation revolved around two players. Former teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook dominated the discussion for MVP even as other players had record setting seasons of their own. Westbrook set the record for most triple-doubles in a single season.  In addition to the added drama of this year’s tightly contested race, both players had expressed their interest in winning the award.

However, before they finally presented the MVP, they handled a few more awards, including:

  1. Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green

  2. Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo

  3. Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon

  4. Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni

  5. Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon

  6. Executive of the Year: Bob Myers

  7. Sager Strong Award: Monty Williams

  8. Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year: Dirk Nowitzki

  9. Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Russell

In the end, the race between the two was not as close as was thought with Westbrook garnering over 100 more points than Harden in voting. These two were followed by Kawhi Leonard in third and LeBron James in fourth. Furthermore, Westbrook gave a touching acceptance speech where he thanks his family and all of Oklahoma.

Ultimately, this event will live on because of the tributes it made not the awards that were won and giving thanks to those who helped shape the game and those who have had to make sacrifices for it.


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