*Canadian rapper and producer Drake will preside over the NBA’s inaugural awards ceremony on June 26 this year.
The ceremony, which will be televised live on the TNT network, has long been discussed and is likely to become an annual tradition in years to come.
Before now, the results of the regular season awards (including the hotly anticipated MVP debate) have been announced during the postseason.
Drake is well-known for being a basketball superfan, sporadically dropping references to NBA players throughout many of his albums and regularly turning up court-side for Toronto Raptors home games. He has even earned himself the title of Global Ambassador for his beloved Raptors, as well as a special ‘Drake Night’ dedicated in his honour once per year.
Who will win at this year’s NBA Awards?
The big question on everybody’s lips is, of course, who will pick up this year’s Most Valuable Player award: Russell Westbrook or James Harden? The jury is still out, particularly among fellow professionals trying to decide who will prove victorious in the race come June.
Westbrook has had a phenomenal (and historical) regular season by all accounts and ended March as the first player to average a triple-double over the course of 82 games since the great Oscar Robertson achieved the same feat way back in the 1961-62 season.
But wait, it’s not all tied up and in the bag for Westbrook just yet; not if his former teammate – ‘The Bearded One’ – has anything to say about it, anyway. Like Westbrook, Harden has also had an outrageously good season for the Houston Rockets, taking to his new adopted position of point guard like a duck to water.
Looking at recent odds on comparison website Oddschecker, many sports bookmakers have now made Westbrook a -500 favourite to pick up the award, with Harden trailing behind at +300. The argument boils down to Westbrook’s stats versus Harden’s overall achievement to get his team into the playoffs and looking like genuine contenders to go up against Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Of course, it’d be rude not to mention the other candidates who made the cut for MVP consideration: Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. Both guys are the unstoppable driving force behind hugely talented teams, so it seems a bit unfair for them to be framed so far out of contention.
Even still, our gut tells us that we know enough now to say that, come June, it’ll be Drake announcing the winner of a distinct two-horse race.