The Latest: Giannis Antetokounmpo wins NBA MVP honor
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the NBA Awards show in Santa Monica, California (all times local):
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks has won Most Valuable Player honors at the NBA Awards.
The 24-year-old forward from Greece beat out Paul George of Oklahoma City and James Harden of Houston, who won last year.
Antetokounmpo earned All-NBA first-team honors this season, his sixth with the Bucks. He led the franchise to the best record in the regular season and the Bucks fell two games short of reaching the NBA Finals.
He averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he thanked his teammates during his speech.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson have received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NBA Awards.
The former rivals took turns holding their trophies while each other spoke Monday night.
Bird says the NBA is in good hands with today’s talented athletes and he urged them to keep the game the same so it continues on.
Johnson starred for the Los Angeles Lakers and Bird with the Boston Celtics.
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz has won Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season at the NBA Awards.
The 26-year-old center from France beat out Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and Paul George of Oklahoma City.
Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer has won Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career at the NBA Awards.
He guided the Bucks to a 60-22 record in the regular season in his first year with the franchise, leading them to the Eastern Conference finals, where they lost to eventual NBA champion Toronto.
He got choked up while thanking his wife and kids Monday night.
Budenholzer also coached Team Giannis in the All-Star Game last season
He earned his first Coach of the Year trophy with Atlanta in 2015.
Budenholzer beat out Denver’s Mike Malone and Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards has received the NBA Cares Community Assist honor at the NBA Awards.
The guard accepted the award accompanied by two young boys he has worked with in the Washington area.
Beal urged his fellow NBA players to give back to youth, calling them the future. He reminded the league that kids look up to the players as role models “whether we like it or not.”
Lou Williams has won the Sixth Man of the Year at the NBA Awards for the second season in a row and third time in his career.
The guard also won last year with the Los Angeles Clippers. His first honor came in 2015 with Toronto.
Williams beat out teammate Montrezl Harrell, with whom he formed the highest-scoring bench duo in NBA history last season, and Domantas Sabonis of Indiana.
Williams became the career leader in points off the bench during the season. He said backstage that this year’s award is different because he went into the season wanting a third honor to cement his legacy in coming off the bench throughout his career.
Mike Conley Jr., newly traded to the Utah Jazz, has won Teammate and Sportsmanship of the Year honors at the NBA Awards.
Conley earned the awards for his 12-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Backstage, Conley called the awards the result of respect from his peers in the league. He thanked his parents for the way he was raised.
Pascal Siakam of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors has won the Most Improved Player at the NBA Awards.
The 25-year-old from Cameroon averaged 16.9 points and started 79 of 80 regular-season games for the Raptors in his third year with the team.
Siakam had 26 20-point outings after scoring 20 points in a game only once in his first two seasons. He then scored 32 points in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Siakam beat out De’Aaron Fox of Sacramento and D’Angelo Russell of Brooklyn.
Siakam says his award can give hope to African kids to work hard in pursuing their dreams.
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks has won Rookie of the Year at the NBA Awards.
The 20-year-old small forward from Slovenia accepted his trophy from RJ Barrett, who went to the New York Knicks as the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft last week.
Doncic was the No. 3 pick last year.
The other finalists were Deandre Ayton of Phoenix and Trae Young of Atlanta.
Mark Cuban says deals aren’t typically consummated the first night of free agency.
The Dallas Mavericks owner says some players want a formal presentation — what Cuban calls “the dog-and-pony show” — while others just want to ask questions and it’s not necessary to have a meeting with them.
Cuban says some players want to meet the coach and others want to discuss the business side of things.
At the end, Cuban says there aren’t a lot of secrets and he’s not going to tell potential free agents much that they don’t already know about his team.
Mike Conley Jr. was part of a wave of trades around the draft, moving from Memphis to Utah, and the veteran says he expects a lot of players to be on different teams next season.
Kyrie Irving is one of more than 200 free agents. Conley says he doesn’t know if the Los Angeles Lakers “are in there as much” as the Brooklyn Nets right now to land Irving.
Former NBA Finals MVP Isiah Thomas credits the Lakers with having had the best two summers of any NBA team, landing LeBron James last year and now Anthony Davis, although his pending trade won’t be official until next month.
Shaquille O’Neal, who is hosting the NBA Awards, planted a smooch on Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss on the red carpet.
Buss calls Monday night’s event “our version of the Golden Globes.”
Buss says that since the season ended she had “a big surprise” when Magic Johnson suddenly quit as president of basketball operations. She hadn’t spoken publicly since Johnson’s stunning announcement before the final game of the Lakers’ sixth straight losing season.
Buss says she’s “very confident” in general manager Rob Pelinka and she noted that new coach Frank Vogel’s teams consistently play defense.
She says the Lakers “have a lot of other changes” that are coming but she cited NBA rules in not being able to discuss them yet.
The biggest names in pro basketball are gathering for the annual NBA Awards show.
Shaquille O’Neal presides over the festivities Monday night from Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport.
The finalists for the Most Valuable Player trophy are Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee, Paul George of Oklahoma City and Houston’s James Harden, who won last year.
Antetokounmpo and George are also vying for Defensive Player of the Year, along with Utah’s Rudy Gobert.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award during the two-hour show airing on TNT.
Among the presenters are Tiffany Haddish, Issa Rae and Samuel L. Jackson.
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