Russell Westbrook was voted the NBA MVP Monday night after he set a league all-time record of 42 triple-doubles during his record-setting regular season.
Westbrook led the NBA in scoring at 31.6 points per game and finished with per game averages of 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists.
He joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only two players to average double figures in scoring, rebounding and assists for the season. He broke Robertson’s record for single season triple-doubles of 41 set back in the 1961-1962 regular season.
Westbrook called the feeling unbelievable after accepting the trophy at the first annual NBA awards show on Monday night. He called his MVP award something he could never imagine he would win.
The presentation of the MVP award to Westbrook ended the awards show, which included two wins each for the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets.
Westbrook tallied 69 first-place votes and a grand total of 888 points from a group of 100 members of the media and a vote by the fans to beat James Harden from Houston who ended with 22 first place votes and a total of 753 points. Finishing third was San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard with 9 first place votes and an even 500 points.
The win by Westbrook ended two straight seasons in which Stephen Curry was named the MVP. The Oklahoma City point guard was emotional during his acceptance speech and brought his teammates up to the podium with him.
During his triple-double games, the Thunder finished 33-9, riding his record run to the playoffs in the team’s first season after Kevin Durant left to play for Golden State.
Earlier in the awards show, Malcolm Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks was named the Rookie of the Year. He became the first NBA player named ROY not to be drafted in the first round, since the start of the common draft era in 1966. Brogdon beat out Dario Saric and Joel Embiid both players with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Most Improved Player was Brogdon’s teammate Giannis Anteokounmpo.
Mike D’Antoni the head coach for the Houston Rockets was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his career and Eric Gordon for the Rockets was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Draymond Green was named the Defensive Player of the Year. The Golden State standout ended a two-year run by the Spur’s Leonard.