3 min read

Tuesday Bolts: 6.27.17

Tuesday Bolts: 6.27.17

Russell Westbrook is your 2016-17 NBA MVP: “The final chapter of Russell Westbrook’s historic season was written Monday at the NBA’s inaugural awards show, as the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard was named the 2016-17 Most Valuable Player. Westbrook, 28, topped a group featuring former teammate James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. But it was not close, with Westbrook receiving 69 of 101 first-place votes, Harden 22, Leonard nine and James one.”

Royce Young on the moments that made Westbrook a deserving MVP: “What will likely endure from Russell Westbrook’s 2016-17 season is the history — the relentless assault on two NBA marks that seemed unreachable and unthinkable: putting up 42 triple-doubles in a season while averaging one throughout. But what Westbrook’s season, and MVP campaign, was about was the moments. Unlike his closest competition, Westbrook didn’t have an MVP moment or two. He filled an entire portfolio.”

USA Today counts their top 5 Westbrook moments from his MVP campaign: “Seventy-five days after the final game of the 2016-17 NBA regular season, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has been crowned the league’s Most Valuable Player, winning the award over Houston Rockets guard James Harden and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. To commemorate Westbrook’s historic, triple-double-filled campaign, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of his season.”

Westbrook’s full MVP acceptance speech:

Transcript of the acceptance speech: “I want to thank the NBA as well. I never thought I’d be saying this up here today, but I want to thank the media for voting for me. But seriously, thank you guys for voting for me. I’m very, very appreciative. I feel like I go out every night and compete at a very high level and I’m thankful for you guys noticing that, so thank you.”

Brett Dawson on how basketball finally embraced Westbrook: “Westbrook thrived as a leading man. He led the NBA in scoring and assists, had one of the greatest crunchtime seasons in league history. He had 42 triple-double games, breaking Robertson’s record of 41. Along the way, he earned a measure of respect — a sense of acceptance — that maybe he’d lacked in the past.”

Taylor Swift congratulated Russ and the entire thing was kind of bizarre: “Remember I was the one who taught you to play basketball. I was the one who taught you to dribble, to shoot hoops, you know? And I remember the first time you beat me at basketball. I was very upset, and you said, if you remember correctly, you said ‘You just have to shake it off.’ And I got an idea..”

Fred Katz on how Westbrook can finally take a breath: “It’s heavy,” he said, right-hand gripping the long sought-after prize by the neck before handing it back to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, so he could take out the notes for an acceptance speech. The wait was over. The man who had to do everything all season could finally rest with the gold in hand and the trophy in Silver’s. “I’ll probably give it to my [newborn] son, most likely,” Westbrook said of his first MVP trophy. “Honestly, I can’t wait to get back to the hotel and give it to him real fast.”

Victor Oladipo won “Dunk of the Year” and other OKC wins from last night’s Awards show: “In what turned out to be a surprisingly fun and laugh-filled evening, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Victor Oladipo and Russell Westbrook won a combined four categories at the inaugural NBA Awards Show.”

This is too good: