It took only a few weeks after the NBA season wrapped up, but we finally saw the regular season awards handed out. Last night (June 24) in Los Angeles we saw tears, tons of jokes, as well as some mediocre hosting from Shaq during last night’s 2019 NBA Awards. Of course, thanks to the Twitter commentary the night was made even better.
The Association last night proved why it has such a global presence. Led by the Greek Freak taking home the night’s most significant award, the Dallas Mavericks Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic winning Rookie of The Year, Utah Jazz big man and France native Rudy Gobert won Defensive Player of the Year and Cameroon’s own and Toronto Raptors rising star Pascal Siakim grabbing Most Improved Player honors.
It was a great night for the Milwaukee Bucks. Despite falling short of the ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship, the franchise took home many awards. Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was voted Coach of The Year for a second time, general manager Jon Horst took home Executive of the Year. Last year’s Most Improved Player Giannis Antetokounmpo made history by winning Most Valuable Player honors this year moving the crowd with a tear-inducing acceptance speech.
Robin Roberts also got the tears flowing, pulling at heartstrings while delivering her acceptance speech after receiving this year’s Sager Strong Award. The 2016 Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductee who was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2007, and five years later myelodysplastic syndrome. Her battle with both diseases was well documented. She aligned herself with Be the Match to help inform the public for the need for more donors and since her diagnosis has helped the Bone Marrow Registry see an increase. Her work has seen her honored with many awards including last night’s Sager Strong honor which is presented in the form of a colorful jacket to honor the late sideline reporter.
Another iconic moment saw former on-court rivals, now best of friends, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson honored with the Life Time Achievement Award. We got to see a surprisingly very talkative Bird reflect on his Hall of Fame NBA career as well as his stint on the sidelines. During his acceptance speech, the pride of Celtics even took a shot at “old broken down players” who criticize current NBA athletes. Magic, on the other hand, kept his speech to a minimum thanking Bird for helping him raise his game a nightly business but didn’t really hark on his time as an executive and who could blame him.
Other winners included Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics who was blessed with the Hustle Award, Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz who took home both the Tywman-Stokes Teammate of The Year and Sportsmanship Awards, Derrick Rose who grabbed the Moment of The Year Award for his 50-point against the Jazz. Bradley Beal won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award and Lou Williams who was a shoo-in for the Sixth Man of The Year Award rounded the night out.
While there were plenty of winners there were some losers which included Shaq who could have done a tad bit better hosting, John Wall who sounded crazy while reading the prompter and James Harden who some believe was snubbed once again for MVP honors and his team didn’t make it better as they complained immediately following Giannis’ win.
To add more insult to injury, comedian Hasan Minhaj ethered Harden with a well-delivered joke about the Rockets prolific scorer always disappearing come playoff time.
He needs to be host next year, anyway hit the gallery to see all the reactions to last night’s NBA Awards below.