NBA announces its first awards show on TNT to air June 2017
It joins the other professional leagues in having an annual event
NBA players wanted an awards show, and they got one in July 2015 when the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) launched the first annual Basketball Players Awards in Las Vegas, which aired on BET.
Now it’s time for another one. On Tuesday, the NBA announced that the first NBA Awards Show will take place in New York on June 26, 2017, on TNT and will feature current and former NBA players, coaches and celebrities.
“We as players want the opportunity to recognize our peers,” New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said in a media release about the 2015 NBPA Player Awards on BET. “We are making that happen with our own award show.”
The 2017 show on TNT will recognize NBA players, teams, coaches and executives for their accomplishments and performances from the 2016-17 NBA season. The categories are the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.
This year there were no televised awards of any kind exclusively for NBA players. The NBPA announced the 2016 Players Voice Awards via social media on Aug. 4.
BET’s airing of the 2015 awards drew roughly 722,000 viewers. The players voted and recognized their peers for accomplishments. Awards were presented for Most Valuable Player, Best Rookie, Man of the Year, Best Defender, Global Impact Player, Hardest to Guard, Clutch Performer, Coach You Would Want to Play For, Best Home Court Advantage and Player You Secretly Wish Was on Your Team. In April, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said the players have eagerly anticipated the show on BET.
“Our players have long wanted to recognize greatness from within their own ranks, and with the first-ever Basketball Players Awards we have created a vehicle for them to do so,” she said. “The level of participation from players in the voting process has been overwhelming so far … ”
In previous years, the NBA announced awards separately throughout the postseason. The 2017 show marks the first time that all recipients will be honored on the same night.
In 2009, the National Hockey League launched the NHL Awards. The National Football League launched the NFL Honors in 2012, and Major League Baseball started the Esurance MLB Awards in 2015. The NBA is following suit in recognizing its players.