Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP award


Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook capped an historic season Monday night, being named the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player.

Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season, and he broke Robertson's single-season record of 41 triple-doubles set in 1961-62. Harden and his beard came pretty close to averaging a triple-double themselves this season, with 29.1 points, a league-high 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Rockets and Bucks.

Sager Strong Award victor, Monty Williams, poses in the press room at the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36 on Monday, June 26, 2017, in NY.

The victor will be announced as part of tonight's NBA Awards show on TNT, which will also unveil the winners of other league awards including Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. D'Antoni made a decision to move star guard James Harden to primarily play point guard, which resulted in Harden's best season easily of 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game. I think this whole extravaganza is problematic for the National Basketball Association for multiple reasons, but most all because these are regular season awards and by not handing out the awards until long after the postseason has ended, everyone's judgement is clouded by what took place during the playoffs.

Gordon set an National Basketball Association single-season record for most 3-pointers off the bench, helping the high-scoring Rockets make more shots behind the arc than any team in history.

However, the doubters were silenced on Monday night.

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Russell pointed at them and said he would kick all their butts.

Then there was the announcement of the SagerStrong award, given for the first time in honor of TNT broadcaster Craig Sager, who died during this past season after a long bout with cancer.

The 28-year-old slasher Westbrook bested fellow finalists James Harden of Houston and Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio to claim the season MVP award for the first time. In addition to UCLA, LSU (Shaquille O'Neal and Bob Pettit) and North Carolina (Bob McAdoo and Michael Jordan) have each had two former players win the MVP award. With a lot of help from Green, Golden State finished the regular season with the league's second-best defensive rating behind just the Spurs.

Mike D'Antoni was named the NBA's coach of the year for a second time after piloting the Rockets to a 55-27 record and the third seed in the Western Conference. LeBron, meanwhile, was not even nominated for the MVP despite being the best player on the planet, but at least he was able to vent his frustration over the snub by pelting small children with water balloons.

He became the 10th guard to win the award.

Players around the league greeted Westbrook on social media.