Drake hosted the show and it featured a performance from 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj. As any awards show, it had some good moments and some pretty cringeworthy ones. Without further ado, Let’s take a look at some!
Many people questioned the decision to make Drake the host for the NBA Awards, but he proved to be more than deserving. His jokes were humorous and his comedic side was on full display. Drakes exchange with Kenny “The Jet” Smith after he made the “did he write it” comment shown that he’s comfortable with being on the receiving end of jokes. His skit with Will Ferrell as well as the Get Out parody were outright hilarious. Getting one of the co-stars from Get Out to star in this skit was a nice touch. The skits were well-executed.
James Hardens Stare at Nicki Minaj
James Harden looks more focused here on Nicki Minaj than he was in game 6 against the Spurs lmfaooooooooo pic.twitter.com/2T8YNBja6v
After her performance (more on that later), Hardens reaction caused quite the storm on social media. Twitter had a field day with it. Either he was actually infatuated with Nicki Minaj, or he was just starstruck by the performance of one of his favorite artists. We’ll let you decide for yourself.
Russell Westbrook (Emotionally) Wins the NBA MVP Award
One of the most discussed topics throughout this season was who was going to win the MVP award this season. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard each had great seasons and had a strong case. In the end, Russell Westbrook (rightfully) won the MVP Award for his historic season of averaging a triple-double and guiding a mediocre Oklahoma City Thunder team to a playoff berth.
From the moment Westbrook stepped on stage after Adam Silver called his name as the winner of this award, you could immediately see how much it meant to him. As he continued to speak, he became emotional. He thanked his family, friends, and even brought some of his teammates on stage to join him for this moment.
Any rumors or suggestions that Westbrook isn’t a good teammate or is selfish, he disproved with that gesture.
Some other great moments were when Bill Russell was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by legendary centres Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning. When he said he would “kick their ass” it was a innocent, happy moment that captivated the crowd. It’s admirable that the league is recognizing a legend and one of the greatest champions to ever play.
Monty Williams was awarded with the Sager Strong Award and it was an incredible moment. His speech where he discussed his late wife, his family and the game of basketball was sincere and heartfelt. He’s extremely deserving of this award and it was a great feeling to see him honored.
Nicki Minajs Performance
I should probably start by saying that I think she’s a talented artist and a good performer, but this was just awkward. 2 Chainz kicked things off with performing his song Realize but once she came out to perform it went downhill. The crowd was absolutely silent and seemed disengaged. The audience just wasn’t her demographic and it showed. I’m not sure the NBA thoroughly did their research when making her a performer, but hopefully they learn from this blunder.
Drakes Awkward Interview with James Harden
I don’t know exactly what happened here, but when Harden was asked who his favorite MVPs were he said “There were so many … um,” and the answer ended there. I’m not sure if he was blindsided by the question, or didn’t know who to choose. Either way it was a cringeworthy moment. Drake tried to recover by asking a follow-up question but the damage was already done.
First Annual Awards Show Was a Success
Overall the NBA Awards was a successful event. It definitely set a foundation for future awards show. I’m sure I speak for most basketball fans when I say that I’m excited for next years. I’m casting an early ballot for Jimmy Kimmel to be the host.