The Six God himself served as host of the first annual NBA Awards which showcased the athletic achievements of some of the best and brightest athletes on the planet.
The NBA is swaying from their former format of simply announcing the winners of each award and holding a small press conference for them and instead is following suit with the NFL and hosting an extravagant event to honor the recipients of their several prestigious awards. Below is a recap of the awards and their recipients.
Kia Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon
Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks was awarded the KIA Rookie of the Year award becoming the lowest draft pick in league history to win the award. Brogdon was drafted with the 36th pick in the second round in the 2016 NBA draft out of the University of Virginia.
Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green
The defensive anchor of the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green was finally awarded for his efforts with the defensive player of the year award. Green has finished as a runner up each of the past two seasons but broke the barrier this season becoming just the sixth player in league history to win the DPOY award and the championship in the same season.
Coach of the year: Mike D’Antoni
Head coach of the Houston Rockets Mike D’antoni took home coach of the year honors for the second time in his career. He first won the award in 2005 as head coach of a 62 win Phoenix Suns team which featured MVP Steve Nash and this time around he received the award as coach of a 55 win Rockets team which featured MVP runner-up James Harden.
Sixth Man of the Year: Eric Gordon
Rockets Guard Eric Gordon took home sixth man of the year honors after a prolific offensive season in which he averaged 16.2 points a game and placed fourth in made three pointers this season behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and teammate James Harden.
Most Improved Player: Greek Freak!
Giannis Antetokounmpo or more simply known as “Greek Freak” received most improved player of the year honors! Giannis became the first player in NBA history to finish top 20 in all major categories such as points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
MVP: Russell Westbrook
And last but certainly not least the larger than life performances that a 6’3 point guard from UCLA paid off as Russell Westbrook was awarded league MVP honors. Westbrook became the first player in 55 years to average a triple double since the legendary Oscar Robertson did it in the 61-62 season. Russ averaged 31.6 ppg, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists a game and gave thanks to his teammates, Sam Presti, his wife, and his brother in his heartfelt acceptance speech.
The 2017 NBA awards was a night of good music by 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj, good laughs from the most interesting man in hip hop Drake, and trophies awarded to the most talented athletes in the world. Here’s to many more great years of our athletes being rewarded for their hard work!