Tuesday night, BET aired the first annual NBPA “Players’ Awards. The awards are for the players, voted on by the players. Performances included Lil Wayne, Monica, 2 Chainz, 5th Harmony and Kid Ink. The show took place Sunday night in Las Vegas at the Penn & Teller theatre inside the Rio hotel and casino.
The show was hosted by comedian Jay Pharoah. Presenters included Gary Payton, Jalen Rose, actress Naturi Naughten, Brandon Knight, Moné Davis, Pooch Hall, Jay Ellis and more.
I was also in attendance and covered the red carpet. I had the opportunity to interview Chris Paul, Lou Williams, Finals MVP Andre Iguodola and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. Check out highlights from the show.
James Harden was voted as MVP – nope he did not bring Khloe as his date.
Stephen Curry, the NBA MVP received two awards; “Clutch Performer” and “Hardest to Guard.” He and his Golden State Warriors teammates, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, also accepted the award for the best home-court advantage thanks to the fans at Oracle Arena. They also made their way into the building for the LeBron James, who finished third in traditional MVP voting, won the award for “Player you secretly wish was on your team,” while DeAndre Jordan won defensive player of the year. Neither was in attendance.
Other awards handed out:
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named the “Coach you most want to play for”
Chris Paul received the Oscar Robertson Visionary Award for his on- and off-court achievements.
Ray Allen was named “Man of the Year” for his charitable efforts. He even received a video tribute from President Barack Obama. MAJOR.
Allen Iverson also was given the “Gamechanger” award for his contributions and influence on the NBA and culture.
“This is one of the most special awards I’ve ever received because it comes from y’all,” Iverson said, referencing the players in attendance.
Check out AI’s entire speech:
“People always say ‘what’s up A.I. and I say the same thing to them 99.9% of the time: I tell them, ‘the same fight, different round.’ And that’s what it is. This world is a world title fight and some rounds, the rounds are days. And some days you’re going to get knocked down and some rounds going to be good, some going to be bad. But the only thing that matters is getting back up and fighting again.”