NBA Awards: Award Categories, History and Latest Odds
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The NBA Awards, in partnership with Turner Sports, was created to recognize the top performers of the NBA season.
The nominees for each award are announced during NBA on TNT broadcasts. The winners of each award are announced at the ceremony, as decided upon by a panel of sports broadcaster across Canada and the USA.
In addition, certain fan-voted categories are decided through the NBA website or via social media.
The ceremony occurs following the NBA Finals but before the NBA Draft. Broadcast occurs live on TNT, with a designated host sharing duties with the Inside the NBA team.
NBA Most Valuable Player Award
All-Access at the NBA Awards as Giannis takes home the MVP!! pic.twitter.com/gaTByJTm0N
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 14, 2019
Since 1956 the NBA has awarded the most outstanding player of the season the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, named in honor of the first commissioner of the NBA.
Until 1980, the MVP was chosen by a vote of NBA players. From 1981 and on, the MVP Award has been decided upon by a panel of sportswriters.
The choice is made via a points system. Members of the voting panel cast votes for first through fifth place selections: first-place is worth 10 points, second-place is worth seven points, third-place is worth five points, fourth-place is worth three points, and fifth-place is worth one point. In 2010, one ballot is cast by fans via online voting.
The MVP Award has been won by some of the greatest players to grace the basketball court. Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James top the list. Every player that has won the MVP Award has been nominated to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Top Multiple Time Winners
- (C) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Milwaukee Bucks (3)/Los Angeles Lakers (3) – ’71, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77, ’80
- (C) Bill Russell – Boston Celtics – ’58, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’65
- (G) Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls – ’88, ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98
- (C) Hakeem Olajuwon – Houston Rockets – Nigeria
- (F) Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs – US Virgin Islands
- (G) Steve Nash (2x) – Phoenix Suns – Canada
- (F) Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks – Germany
- (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks – Greece
NBA Rookie of the Year
The odds for the NBA Awards are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
|R. J. Barett||+10000|
Rookie Of The Year Mixtape!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 25, 2019
The NBA Rookie of the Year award is given to the top rookie of the regular season. Winners are awarded the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, as selected by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the United States and Canada.
Of Rookie of the Year Winners, 21 of those winners have been the first overall pick in the NBA Draft. There have also been 16 eventual MVP winners out of the Rookie of the Year class. Two Rookies of the Year, Wes Unseld and Wilt Chamberlain won the honor simultaneously with the Most Valuable Player award.
The Rookie of the Year award has been dominated by American players and every winner has been selected in the NBA Draft. As the NBA has expended its reach, a number of international prospects have made their name by winning the trophy themselves. Legendary forward Pau Gasol broke the seal for international players, being the first non-American to win the award.
- (G) Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks – Slovenia
- (G) Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers – Australia
- (C) Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves – Dominican Republic
- (F) Andrew Wiggins – Minnesota Timberwolves – Canada
- (F) Pau Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies – Spain
Co-Rookies of the Year
Expectations for rookies are rarely high. Due to the jump in competition level, teams are modest in their expectation, foreseeing only a singular stellar performance. However, sometimes, multiple players are given the honor.
- (C) Dave Cowens & (G) Geoff Petrie – 1970-1971
- (F) Grant Hill & (G) Jason Kidd – 1994-1995
- (F) Elton Brand & (G) Steve Francis – 1999-2000
NBA Defensive Player of the Year
— NBA (@NBA) October 3, 2018
Awarded annually since 1982-1983, the Defensive Player of the Year is given to the standout defensive performer of the season.
Dominant defensive players are hard to come by and the award has been mostly won by centers. Some of the leagues’ best shot-blockers, pickpockets, and man-to-man defenders are former NBA Defensive Players of the Year. Other notable defensive players have found themselves on the NBA All-Defensive Team.
- (C) Dikembe Mutombo – Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks (2), Philadelphia 76ers – 2001, 1998, 1997, 1995
- (C) Ben Wallace – Detroit Pistons – 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002
- (C) Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic – 2011, 2010, 2009
- (C) Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz – 2019, 2018
- (F) Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs – 2016, 2015
- (C) Alonzo Mourning – Miami Heat – 2000, 1999
- (C) Hakeem Olajuwon – Houston Rockets – 1994, 1993
- (F) Dennis Rodman – Detroit Pistons – 1991, 1990
- (F) Sidney Moncrief – Milwaukee Bucks – 1984, 1983
NBA Sixth Man of the Year
NBA 6th Man of the Year Odds
Lou Will named his newborn baby “Six” because he’s a 3-time Sixth Man of the Year.
What a G. pic.twitter.com/aBHh7C2qrq
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) January 4, 2020
The NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award is an annual award that has been given out since the 1982-1983 season. It celebrates the league’s top-performing player whose contributions are earned as a member of the bench.
To win this award, a player does not have to exclusively be a member of their teams’ bench unit but must have a majority of his appearances as a substitute.
Out of 30 players to win the award, the winners have been dominated by scoring-adept guards. On occasion, big men have been winners of the award as well. As the NBA has awarded rebounding and paint protection, as much as it does scoring.
- (G) Jamal Crawford – Atlanta Hawks, LA Clippers (2) – 2010, 2014, 2016
- (G) Lou Williams – Toronto Raptors, LA Clippers (2) – 2015, 2018, 2019
- (F) Detlef Schrempf – Indiana Pacers (2) – 1991, 1992
- (G) Ricky Pierce – Milwaukee Bucks (2) – 1987, 1990
- (F) Kevin McHale – Boston Celtics (2) – 1984, 1985
NBA Most Improved Player
NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Odds
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||+10000|
👀 PASCAL SIAKAM’s 2018/19 Most Improved Player highlights! 🌶 pic.twitter.com/h9gNpBYa3l
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) June 25, 2019
The NBA Most Improved Player of the Year Award is given to a player that has shown the most personal progress during the regular season, as compared to their previous years. This is not limited to scoring, but all categories.
Jumps in role with a team have bolstered players’ chances for the award, while one-off seasons of fantastic production have been found as well.
This award tends to reward players whose leaps in production also denote a leap in expectation.
A player has never won the Most Improved Player Award more than once, seeing as expectations are risen after winning.
Only a single player who has won the Most Improved Player Award has been inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame – Tracy McGrady. Winners of the award tend to go on to achieve further accolades:
Most Improved Player to NBA Most Valuable Player
(F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks – MIP 2017 – MVP 2019
Most Improved Player Award Winners Who Became NBA All-Stars
Alvin Robertson (’86), Dana Barros (’95), Tracy McGrady (’01), Jermaine O’Neal (’02), Danny Granger (’09), Kevin Love (’11), Paul George (’13), Jimmy Butler (’15), Giannis Antetokounmpo (’17), Victor Oladipo (’18), Dale Ellis (’87), Kevin Johnson (’89), Gilbert Arenas (’03), Zach Randolph (’04), Goran Dragic (’14), Pascal Siakam (’19).
NBA Coach of the Year
On June 25th Dwane Casey was honoured at the NBA Awards, being named Coach of the Year after leading the @Raptors to their best regular season in franchise history! 🇨🇦
— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) July 5, 2018
The NBA Coach of the Year Award rewards the Red Auerbach Trophy, named after the head coach who led the Boston Celtics to nine of its NBA Championships.
The winner is selected from a panel of sportswriters from the USA and Canada. The award isn’t given to the coach with the best record on the season, but to a coach who has shown to have a massive impact on the success of their team compared to previous years.
Attached to this award are some of the greatest basketball minds in the history of the sport. Some former players and others basketball academics, their impact on the game and its players will be forever felt.
Three-Time Coach of the Year Winners
- Don Nelson – Milwaukee Bucks (2), Golden State Warriors – 1983, 1985, 1992
- Pat Riley – Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat – 1990, 1993, 1997
- Gregg Popovich – San Antonio Spurs (3) – 2003, 2012, 2014
Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year
Established in 2012, the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year trophy is awarded to the player that exemplifies the ideal teammate and selfless play, commitment, and dedication to the team.
The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes.
The two were teammates on the Royals from 1955-1958, until a head injury ended the career of Maurice Stokes. As a result of the injury, Stokes became paralyzed – at that point, Twyman became the legal guardian of his former teammate Stokes until his passing in 1970.
Each year six players from each conference are selected by a panel of “NBA Legends” as nominees for the award. The winners are then voted upon by NBA players via a weighted point system.
As a part of the reward, the NBA makes a $25,000 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.
- (G) Chauncey Billups – LA Clippers – 2013
- (F) Shane Battier – Miami Heat – 2014
- (F) Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs – 2015
- (G) Vince Carter – Memphis Grizzlies – 2016
- (F) Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks – 2017
- (G) Jamal Crawford – Minnesota Timberwolves – 2018
- (G) Mike Conley Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies – 2019
NBA Cares Community Assist Award
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 25, 2019
The NBA Cares Community Assist Award is internally voted upon, rewarding players for community engagement, philanthropic activity, and charity work.
The award has been given out both during and after the season in a cumulative and monthly format.
The winner is presented the David Robinson Plaque, inscribed on it “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson, who improved the community piece by piece.”
NBA Sportsmanship Award
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) June 25, 2019
The NBA Sportsmanship Award has been given out since the 1995-1996 season.
It is awarded to the player who “exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play, and integrity.”
Named after its inaugural winner Joe Dumars, it is equivalent to its sister league the WNBA’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.
Each year all 30 NBA teams nominate a single player from their team for the award. From the nominees, one player from each division is selected by a panel as the divisional winners of the Sportsmanship Award.
At the conclusion of the regular season, players in the NBA vote upon the nominees via a weighted points system.
Multiple-Time NBA Sportsmanship Award Winners
- (F) Grant Hill – Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns (2) – 2005, 2008, 2010
- (G) Mike Conley Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies (3) – 2014, 2016, 2019
- (G) Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets (2) – 2017, 2018
- (G) Jason Kidd – Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks – 2012, 2013
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award
Bill Russell stole the show at the NBA Awards. pic.twitter.com/BnBgUIqyZy
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) June 27, 2017
The NBA Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a former NBA Player who has achieved exemplary success both on and off the basketball court.
Via a fantastic NBA career and impactful work as a member of society, recipients of the NBA’s Lifetime Achievement Award are some of the best to ever call the NBA home.
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
Bill Russell (Boston Celtics) (2017), Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks) (2018), Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) and Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) (2019)
NBA Hustle Award
— WBZ Boston Sports (@wbzsports) June 25, 2019
The NBA Hustle Award is the newest NBA Awards.
It is awarded to the player with the highest aggregate hustle score each year. It is calculated by a minimum of 50 games played, a minimum average of 15 minutes per game, accumulated hustle stats including screen assists, deflections, loose balls recovered, charges drawn, and shots contested.
The winner of the inaugural NBA Hustle Award was Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics.
NBA Executive of the Year Award
The NBA Executive of the Year Award recognizes notable achievements by an NBA team’s General Manager.
Before 2009, the Executive of the Year Award was presented by Sporting News but was later recognized officially by the NBA. Voting is conducted by executives of each of the NBA’s 30 teams. The GM with the most votes wins the award.
Sager Strong Award
“Make your mess your message.”
Robin Roberts wins the Sager Strong award 🙏 pic.twitter.com/3j7K3Y7WKv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 25, 2019
The Sager Strong Award was established in 2017 in honor of longtime NBA reporter Craig Sager (1951-2016). It is presented to an individual who “Has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion, and grace.”
Rather than receiving a trophy, the winner receives a replica blazer which mimics the flamboyant style of Craig Sager.
NBA Awards FAQ
How many NBA Awards are there?
In total there are 12 NBA Awards given to outstanding teams, players, and coaches.
Who won the NBA MVP 2019?
Giannis Antetokounmpo won 2019 MVP.