Russell Westbrook Delivers Heartfelt MVP Speech

The ’16-’17 regular season was bonkers. Russell Westbrook and James Harden dueled with epic stats and insane individual games. Harden had two 50-point triple-doubles and Westbrook hit the League with a record-breaking 42 triple-doubles.

There was no wrong choice for this year’s MVP and after months of waiting, Westbrook was finally officially named MVP.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Russ tearfully thanked his parents, brother and wife. Before that, though, he brought his Thunder teammates up on stage and jokingly thanked the media.

“I never thought I’d be saying this up here today, but I wanna thank the media for voting for me. No but seriously, I’m very, very appreciative. I feel like I go out every night and compete at a very, very high level and I’m thankful for you guys noticing that.”

Watch his whole speech above. Congrats, Russ!

Video courtesy of NBA

The post Russell Westbrook Delivers Heartfelt MVP Speech appeared first on SLAMonline.

…read more

Source:: SLAMonline

No awards but one big honor for Rudy Gobert on his 25th birthday

SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert is never a player who shies away from a challenge, an opponent, a possible shot to swat or an opportunity to express his opinion.

That was the case this past season when his French pal Nicolas Batum tweeted to him after the All-Star selections were made.

“So,” Batum wrote, “no All Star for @rudygobert27 (thinking face emoji) … DPOY I guess.”

Gobert’s response was oh-so Gobert.

“They already decided who the DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year) is gonna be Nic,” the Jazz center wrote. “I’ll just keep controlling what I can control and keep helping my team win games.”

Although The Stifle Tower might not have been correct about the award’s recipient being determined at that point — voting by the media panel wasn’t for another three months — the result turned out how he anticipated.

Gobert was a finalist but did not receive DPOY honors during Monday’s inaugural NBA Awards Show. Warriors big man Draymond Green, often lauded for his defensive versatility, ran away with the award, picking up 434 total points and 73 first-place votes.

Gobert, the NBA leader in blocked shots, defensive win shares, and defensive real plus-minus, was the DPOY runner-up with 269 total points and 16 first-place votes. Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was third with 182 points and 11 first-place votes.

Gobert was also a finalist for the Most Improved Player award, but the 7-foot-1 center was also passed up for that award in favor of Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (428 points, 80 first-place votes).

Gobert was third (113 points, one first-place vote) after Denver center Nikola Jokic (161, 14). Jazz wings Gordon Hayward (three third-place votes) and Joe Ingles (one vote) were among the 25 NBA players who received a MIP nod.

It might play to the Jazz’s advantage that Gobert didn’t win the two prestigious awards …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

LCS Honors Craig Sager at NBA Awards Show

At the inaugural NBA Awards Show, the League paid tribute to Craig Sager by giving Monty Williams with the Sager Strong Award, shining light on Williams’ perseverance since his wife passed away. Williams was given a colorful jacket that Craig would’ve definitely worn.

#SagerStrong (via @spurs)

— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 27, 2017

LCS continued to celebrate Craig’s legacy with a very special lace that was unveiled earlier tonight. The design of the laces is inspired by Craig’s legendary style and love of loud colors and unique patterns.

Check out the gallery above to get a closer look at the laces.


Photos courtesy of LCS

The post LCS Honors Craig Sager at NBA Awards Show appeared first on SLAMonline.

…read more

Source:: SLAMonline