2016-2017 NBA MVP: Russell Westbrook
As the winner of fan-voted Best Style and Game Winner of the Year along with a nomination for Performance of the Year, MVP Russell Westbrook capped off his 2016-2017 season with several well-deserved additions to his trophy case. Throughout Westbrook’s phenomenal season plagued by the previous offseason’s repercussions, he broke Oscar Robertson’s previously ‘unbreakable’ record by putting up 42 triple-doubles while averaging 10.7 rebounds, 10.3 assists and 31.6 points. Russell Westbrook’s season will go down in history as one of the most dominant performances by a single player.
— NBA (@NBA) June 27, 2017
Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon
After quickly cementing his role in a budding Milwaukee Bucks team, Malcolm Brogdon impressed the league with his instant leadership abilities and boost to team chemistry. As the first player to win Rookie of the Year drafted in the second round, Brogdon made his presence felt in serving as the right hand man to the next award-winner on this list.
Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Leading the young Bucks in their early steps towards greatness, the 22-year-old from Greece emerged on the scene this year as a first-time All-Star posting nine rebounds, over five assists, nearly two steals, two blocks and 23 points. Antetokounmpo defies the modern NBA player aesthetic by boasting the most talented skill-set without a jump shot in the league today. Undoubtedly, the Greek Freak will develop a jumper, pushing his career as a perennial All-Star into many playoff appearances, Finals contentions and a Hall of Fame nomination. Presumptuous? Not at all.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 27, 2017
Executive of the Year: Bob Myers (Golden State Warriors)
Myers has played a crucial role in the Golden State Warriors’ success. In last year’s offseason, he was able to add one of the best players in the league, Kevin Durant, to the 73-win team from the previous season. Additionally, Myers drafted promising rookie Pat McCaw and signed valuable role-players in Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West. The Warriors’ 2017 NBA Championship should be accredited to Bob Myers just as much as Stephen Curry and Durant.
Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets)
Head Coach Mike D’Antoni was captured in Bleacher Report’s spoof series ‘Game of Zones’ as a crazed philosopher claiming to “double the offense,” and “half the defense.” While this is initially a doubtful scheme for success, D’Antoni’s Rockets not only led the league in threes made, but set a new NBA record scoring 1,181 threes in the 2016-2017 season. This offensive production, capitalized on space created by James Harden and sharp-shooting company, helped D’Antoni reach the number three seed in the Western Conference while adding a second Coach of the Year title to his trophy case.
Sixth Man Award: Eric Gordon
A large part of Mike D’Antoni’s success as a coach this past season can be accredited to the bench production led by Sixth Man of the Year, Eric Gordon. Before winning the three-point competition in the 2017 All-Star break, Gordon was shooting over 38-percent from three, scoring 17 points per game off the bench. Although these numbers dropped a bit following the break, Gordon remained highly instrumental in the Rockets’ success.
Teammate of the Year: Dirk Nowitzki
As notably one of the most inspirational and uplifting players in the league, Dirk Nowitzki has been praised by teammates across the ages as an excellent locker room presence and genuine good guy. Nowitzki has both the competitiveness to catalyze fun during games and the veteran humility to help young teammates grow into their potential.
All-Defensive First Team:
Chris Paul – Possibly the most crafty and fast-twitch defender at the guard spot.
Patrick Beverley – Unmatched scrappiness has allowed Beverley to defend the best guards in the league at an extremely high caliber.
Kawhi Leonard – ‘The Claw’ is able to guard every position with amazing length, high basketball IQ and athleticism.
Draymond Green – While having one of the loudest mouths in the league, Draymond more than backs it up with game-changing play after play both at the rim and outside.
Rudy Gobert – Gobert led the league with 2.64 blocks per game, proving to be one of the most elite rim defenders in the game.
Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green
Sporting a teal blazer and shorts, Draymond Green accepted his award after a season averaging a league-high two steals, one and a half blocks, eight rebounds and nearly four deflections per game. Additionally, Draymond boasted the highest defensive box plus/minus in the league, second highest defensive rating at 99.1 and the second highest defensive win shares. Contributing more to his team than even those impressive statistics in chemistry and spirit, Draymond Green deservedly edged out other elite defenders for the award.
The Big Ticket, The Worm, Coop, The Dream…and now Dray. pic.twitter.com/KUDRv0dB1t
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2017
NBA Cares Community Assist Award: Isaiah Thomas
While averaging nearly 30 points per game, All-Star Isaiah Thomas continued his heroics off the court and into the community. Throughout the season, Thomas contributed to several philanthropic organizations through backpack giveaways, emergency aid, food relief funds, medical relief efforts, funding for the Boys and Girls Club, youth mentoring, and many other ways to help communities across the country.
Sportsmanship Award: Kemba Walker
This award was nominated by former players and voted for by current players. The Sportsmanship Award recognizes Walker’s keen ability to make the game fun and fair for teammates, opponents and fans alike. The first time NBA All-Star posted 40-percent shooting from beyond the arch, scoring 23 points per game in the 2016-2017 season.
Malcolm Brogdon – Already a formidable leader on a young Bucks squad, Brogdon possesses a high basketball IQ comparable to Chris Paul.
Buddy Hield – The sharpshooter was already traded in his rookie season, but looks to be a crucial part of the Sacramento King’s offense going forward.
Dario Saric – As a skilled passer, shooter and post-scorer, Saric will accompany new talent coming to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Willy Hernangomez – The Spaniard has shown flashes of offensive potential in the paint while being a valuable rebounder in a league searching for skilled big men.
Joel Embiid – Looking to be the second-coming of Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, Joel Embiid could become the face of the league in a few years if he can stay healthy.
One final highlight from the night’s festivities includes NBA legend Bill Russell accepting his lifetime achievement award presented by other legendary big men: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and David Robinson.
Bill Russell pic.twitter.com/tngL5TNmbZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2017