While a number of other honors were handed out at the 2018 NBA Awards Show on Monday night, the main event was scheduled for the end. That was a guarantee given the three finalists: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
This is the 28-year-old Los Angeles native's second National Basketball Association award, having been named Sixth Man of the Year in 2012 as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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"The Beard" led all scorers with 30.4 points per game this past season, and finished third in assists (8.8 per game).
This is the first time Harden has claimed the MVP award, and he is the third Rockets player to win it.
"I'd like to thank my family, to start off with", Simmons said. He averaged 18 points a game and scored in double figures in every game during the Western Conference Finals.
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He led the league in scoring, 3-pointers and 50-point games with four while helping the Rockets to an NBA-leading 65 wins. Tonight, awards will be handed out to the league's best ballers, including MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
Dwane Casey earned Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Raptors to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
"But the only thing that really bothers me is where are the white athletes when this is happening?" he said backstage. He has since become coach of the Detroit Pistons. Harden will look to defend the award next season. Casey coached the East in the All-Star Game for the first time.
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The guard averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, joining Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to post those numbers in a season.
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