James odd man out as NBA announces MVP finalists
(TSX / STATS) -- The NBA announced the finalists for six major individual awards on Friday, and one name was noticeably missing from the group of Most Valuable Player finalists.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, a four-time league MVP who fell one vote shy of being a unanimous selection as a first team All-NBA selection this year, is not among the three MVP finalists.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who won the past two MVP awards, is not among the finalists either.
The MVP finalists are Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
Finalists for five other awards were also released, with the winners in all six categories announced on June 26 in the inaugural NBA Awards to be televised on TNT. A vote by members of the media determines the winners.
Here are the finalists in the other five categories:
Rookie of the year: Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ers.
Sixth man of the year: Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets; Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors, Lou Williams, Houston Rockets
Defensive player of the year: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz; Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors; Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs.
Most improved player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Millwaukee Bucks; Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz; Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets.
Coach of the year: Mike D'Antoni, Houston Rockets; Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs; Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat
Complete media voting results for each annual NBA award will be posted on NBA.com/official the night of the NBA Awards.
In addition, fans will vote for winners in six other categories: dunk of the year, best style, block of the year, assist of the year, game-winner of the year and top performance of the year.
The awards will also include an all-rookie team, an all-defensive team, executive of the year, teammate of the year, sportsmanship award and the NBA Cares Community Assist Award.
Updated May 19, 2017