The show featured rapper Drake as the host, and he began the night telling a monologue full of jokes clearly written for him, some of which hit and some of which fell quite flat. "It was obviously an awesome season for me but without these guys and the rest of our guys that are not here, none of this would be possible".
"These guys sacrificed so much for me throughout the year", said Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook or James Harden for the 2017 NBA MVP?
Westbrook led the league in scoring (31.6), was third in assists (10.4) and was 10th in rebounds (10.7) per game.
The first-ever NBA Awards show followed years in which the league announced individual honours separately throughout the postseason.
The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, who enjoyed a record-setting 2016/2017 season, was handed the prestigious title at the inaugural New York City ceremony on Monday night (26Jun17), and Taylor was among the first to heap praise on Westbrook, sending in a surprise video message. That pushed him over impressive numbers by Houston Rockets star Harden, who was incredible as he moved to play the point guard position full-time for NBA Coach of the Year Mike D'Antoni.
"Obviously I'm just proud of the team and the way they responded all year".
"So this award is not for me".
With Westbrook on the floor this season, the Thunder outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions. Most notably was his performance against the Denver Nuggets, where he recorded his record-breaking 42nd triple-double.
Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The award was presented to San Antonio Spurs executive Monty Williams, for the way he has persevered through the grief of his wife, Ingrid, dying in a auto crash a year ago. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season.