FAST FACTS: NBA Awards 2019

Rappler.com
As the NBA honors its top performers of the season, check out some trivia on the league's superstars

 

TOP TRIO. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (center) stands as favorite to win the MVP award over the Rockets’ James Harden and Thunder’s Paul George. Photos from AFP

 

MANILA, Philippines – The NBA honors its top performers of the season on Monday, June 24 (Tuesday, June 25, Philippine time) with Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, Houston Rockets’ James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Paul George leading the pack. 

The star trio vie for the Most Valuable Player award as Antetokounmpo and George also gun for the Defensive Player of the Year honor along with Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert.

Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young likewise eye the centerstage as the rising stars dispute the Rookie of the Year honor.

Here are some fast facts before the 2019 NBA Awards unfolds in Los Angeles:

MVP milestones

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads with 6 MVP awards. Michael Jordan and Bill Russell have 5 each.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) is seeking to become the second European player to be named MVP (Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki in 2006-07).
  • James Harden has a chance to become the 12th player to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.
  • Moses Malone is the only player to win the honor in consecutive seasons with different teams – Houston in 1981-82 and Philadelphia in 1982-83.
  • Steph Curry is the only unanimous winner (2015-16).
  • Derrick Rose (22) and Karl Malone (35) are the youngest and oldest winners, respectively. 

 

Rookies rock

  • Last season, Ben Simmons became the fifth player to win NBA Rookie of the Year after not playing the year he was drafted (Jerry Lucas, Larry Bird, David Robinson and Blake Griffin).
  • In 2016-17, second-round pick Malcolm Brogdon (No. 36 pick overall) became the first Rookie of the Year selected outside the first round in the common draft era (1966 to present).
  • Since 1983-84, 5 players have won unanimously: Karl-Anthony Towns (2015-16), Damian Lillard (2012-13), Blake Griffin (2010-11), David Robinson (1989-90) and Ralph Sampson (1983-84).
  • Luka Doncic (Slovenia) is seeking to become the second European player to earn the honor. Pau Gasol (Spain) was the 2001-02 Rookie of the Year. 

 

Defensive lockdown

  • Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace share the record for most NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards with 4 each. Mutombo is the only player to win the award with multiple teams.
  • Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) are the only players to win the Defensive Player of the Year and MVP awards in the same season. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George are finalists for both awards in 2018-19.
  • Dwight Howard is the only player to win the award in 3 consecutive seasons (2008-09 through 2010-11).
  • Milwaukee’s Sidney Moncrief won the first two Defensive Player of the Year awards, in 1982-83 and 1983-84. He is the only Bucks player to earn the honor.
  • Last season, Rudy Gobert became the second Utah player to be named Defensive Player of the Year, joining two-time honoree Mark Eaton.
  • A guard has not won Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton in 1995-96. Payton is the only player from Seattle/Oklahoma City to win. 

 

Striving hard

  • The Most Improved Player Award is designed to honor an up-and-coming player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons.
  • This year, Giannis Antetokounmpo is seeking to become the first player to win Most Improved Player (which he did in 2016-17) and NBA MVP.
  • 2000-01 Most Improved Player Tracy McGrady was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • The 2018-19 Most Improved Player recipient will come from a team that has never had a winner in this category (Brooklyn, Sacramento and Toronto).
  • Winners have included players from Lebanon (Rony Seikaly), Romania (Gheorghe Muresan), France (Boris Diaw), Turkey (Hedo Turkoglu), Slovenia (Goran Dragic) and Greece (Giannis Antetokounmpo). Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) is vying to become the latest international player to win.
  • Six of the last 8 winners have been All-Star selections in their careers.
  • Darrell Armstrong (1998-99) is the only undrafted player to win the award. 

 

Off the bench

  • Jamal Crawford is the only three-time winner of the NBA Sixth Man Award – an accomplishment that Lou Williams is looking to match this year.
  • Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford are the only players to earn the honor with multiple teams.
  • Kevin McHale and Detlef Schrempf are the only back-to-back winners, with Lou Williams looking to join them this year.
  • A guard has won the award 7 years in a row and 11 of the last 12.
  • To be eligible for the current award, a player must come off the bench in more games than he starts.
  • Bill Walton and James Harden are the only players to win both the Sixth Man Award and the Most Valuable Player Award.
  • The Clippers have had 3 of the last 5 Sixth Man recipients and could make it 4 of 6 if Montrezl Harrell or Lou Williams wins this year. 

 

At the helm

  • Don Nelson, Gregg Popovich and Pat Riley share the record for most NBA Coach of the Year awards with 3 each.
  • Pat Riley is the only coach to win the award with 3 franchises (Los Angeles Lakers, New York and Miami).
  • No coach has ever won the award in consecutive seasons, a streak that will continue as 2017-18 winner Dwane Casey is not a 2018-19 finalist.
  • Two-time winner Hubie Brown won the award for the first time at age 44 (with Atlanta in 1977-78) and for the second time 26 years later at age 70 (with Memphis in 2003-04).
  • Larry Bird is the only person to be named NBA Coach of the Year, NBA Basketball Executive of the Year and NBA MVP.

 – Rappler.com