On Monday night, TNT will broadcast the first annual NBA Awards, celebrating the best performances of the 2016-17 NBA season. The show starts at 9 p.m. and can also be streamed live on the official NBA website.
While the league has given out the award for Most Valuable Player since the ’50s, the NBA is branding this as something of a new beginning for the award. Hosted by Drake and featuring a live performance from Nicki Minaj, the show is being marketed as something akin to the ESPYs to reward the best performances of the season.
After a postseason that lasted for almost two months, the regular season may feel like a distant memory, but you might remember a furious debate regarding triple-doubles and the definition of “value” that still needs to be settled. The nominees for each category have been widdled down to three finalists, the most notable omission being LeBron James left off the MVP final ballot of what was always a four-way race going into the last few weeks of the season.
The finalists for the traditional awards that will be distributed tonight are as follows:
Most Valuable Player: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard
Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric
Sixth Man Award: Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams
Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni, Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra
Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic
Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard
In addition to these standard awards, the NBA is mixing in a few new awards that will be awarded by fan vote. While these awards are of less consequence (I have yet to see an NBA contractual bonus for players that win “Dunk of the Year”) they are good fun and help to ensure the show won’t just be a slow spectacle of speeches.
These awards also provide us with some fantastic highlight clips to show off the nominees. You can watch them below courtesy of NBA on TNT.
Dunk of the Year: Larry Nance Jr., Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo
Assist of the Year: Draymond Green and Steph Curry, Nikola Jokic, Chris Paul
Game Winner of the Year: Tyler Ulis, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook
If feels like we’ve lived a lifetime of basketball since the regular season ended, and with many teams already excited about their newly drafted players, it’s easy to look ahead. But if you want to take one last look back at the highlights and moments the 2016-17 season have to offer, tonight’s the night to do it.
Summer League is only two weeks away.
Another look at the 2016-17 #DunkOfTheYear nominees! ????
Another look at the finalists for #GameWinnerOfTheYear ????????????
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