Russell Westbrook beats out Kawhi Leonard and James Harden for NBA MVP

Russell Westbrook beats out Kawhi Leonard and James Harden for NBA MVP

Russell Westbrook won his first MVP award Monday night after averaging a triple-double this season.

Westbrook broke the triple-double record held by Oscar Robertson for more than five decades. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season.

Leonard was trying to be the first to win three in a row since Dwight Howard. Utah’s Rudy Gobert was the other finalist.

He became the 10th guard to win the award. Obviously I was joking at the time.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon walked away with the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.

Westbrook’s victory ended the first NBA Awards show. “I can’t say thank you enough, you guys sacrificed everything you’ve done in your life”.

The NBA Finals MVP award is named for Russell, who was one of the most dominant defensive players in NBA history.

In a change of pace from past seasons, the National Basketball Association held a formal awards show to announce all of its achievement awards, rather than sprinkling them throughout the playoffs. In the years gone by, the MVP award was handed out within the first few weeks of the playoffs.

Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks is the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year & Assist of the Year Award victor, Draymond Green, poses in the press room at the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36 on Monday, June 26, 2017, in NY.

Harden was the runner-up after averaging 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds.

Golden State’s Draymond Green was the leading vote-getter for the All-Defensive team.

The first-ever NBA Awards show followed years in which the league announced individual honors separately throughout the postseason.

Westbrook succeeded Stephen Curry, who had won the past two MVP awards.

The Clippers’ Chris Paul and Houston’s Patrick Beverley were the two guards on the first team. So, too, was Oklahoma City’s campaign.

Westbrook received 69 first-point votes, which were worth 10 points and 888 overall points.

They were joined by Joel Embiid, Saric’s teammate in Philadelphia, along with Sacramento guard Buddy Hield and Knicks forward Willy Hernangomez.

He also became the first player since Moses Malone to win MVP on a team that didn’t get at least 50 wins.