For fans who have been dialed in to the amazing 2017 NBA MVP race there is good and bad news. First the bad news, fans will have to wait until a brand new NBA award ceremony Monday, June 26, 2017 to find out whether Russell Westbrook or James Harden won the MVP.
The good news is Westbrook and Harden are going to square off in the playoffs as the Houston Rockets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. In a sense the good news is even bad news for this reason, if the award would have been given out like it normally is a few days after the season, fans would have witnessed either Harden or Westbrook playing a whole “revenge” series against the player who won the award.
Here’s the details about the award show from the NBA press release.
The star-studded event will recognize NBA players, teams, coaches and executives for their accomplishments and performances from the 2016-17 NBA season. The show will feature the announcements of the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.
While in previous years these awards were announced separately throughout the postseason, this marks the first time that all recipients will be honored on the same night.
The NBA made the announcement in November 2016 and could not have known how things would play out in the Harden-Westbrook battle. Who votes on the NBA MVP? According to ESPN, there are an estimated 100 media members who will vote on the award.
Fans can vote through a Kia promotion but it will not impact the actual award. You do have a chance to win a trip to the 2017 NBA Finals if you vote.
Who will win the award: Harden or Westbrook? This is as close of a race as we have seen in recent years. The Washington Post polled over 100 media members on who they would vote for and Harden finished 142 points ahead of Westbrook. It should be noted the poll was conducted before Westbrook’s crazy run over the last few weeks.
Here’s the details of the poll:
After surveying 106 media members who cover the sport (though, to be clear, not all will be among the voters for the award when ballots are sent out next month), Harden finished with exactly half (53) of the available first-place votes, and finished either first, second or third on 102 of the 106 ballots cast (finishing fourth on the other four).
That allowed Harden — just as he did in the initial straw poll in January — to finish in first place with 910 points, putting him almost 150 ahead of Westbrook (768), who had 28 first-place votes, in second, and significantly ahead of both Leonard (658) in third and James (600) in fourth.
Proponents of Westbrook point to him averaging a triple-double. Westbrook averaged 31.9 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds.
Harden’s stats are almost as impressive. He is averaging 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds. Those on #TeamHarden will point to the Rockets win total as Houston won seven more games than the Thunder.
Fans will have to wait until late-June to find out who the voting media members favored. At least we get a full series of Westbrook-Harden to help pass the time.