Sport NBA award finalists unveiled: LeBron James not up for MVP

04:10  20 may  2017
04:10  20 may  2017 Source:   USA TODAY SPORTS

LeBron James just passed Michael Jordan in another category of all-time greatness

  LeBron James just passed Michael Jordan in another category of all-time greatness LeBron joins just two legends in being named to his 11th All-NBA first team.

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Log In. Sign Up . One key man missing: LeBron James . He missed out on the MVP award , thanks largely to the Cavaliers’ late-season swoon. Instad, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are finalists for Most Valuable Player , along with Kawhi Leonard.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.© Chris Humphreys, USA TODAY Sports Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.

Surprise: Russell Westbrook and James Harden are among the finalists for the NBA's 2016-17 Most Valuable Player award.

The three-player list, which was unveiled on TNT Friday night, also includes Kawhi Leonard. Four-time MVP LeBron James, who put together his best statistical season since rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, was left off.

The award finalists, and winners, are determined by a panel of NBA media members. Ballots were submitted before the start of the playoffs.

LeBron James just passed Michael Jordan in another category of all-time greatness

  LeBron James just passed Michael Jordan in another category of all-time greatness LeBron joins just two legends in being named to his 11th All-NBA first team.

joining up with LeBron James .

This is a statistical accomplishment I honestly never considered was even possible: in the NBA Finals, LeBron James led all players on both teams in points, assists, and rebounds. But maybe it’s an even greater honor that the MVP was awarded for guarding him

Westbrook, of course, became just the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, while Harden led the high-octane Houston Rockets to 55 wins behind 29.1-point, 11.2-assist, 8.1-rebound averages. They were widely considered to be neck-and-neck at the top of the MVP race for the majority of the season.

Leonard posted 25.5-point, 5.8-rebound, 3.5-assist averages for the 61-win San Antonio Spurs and strengthened his case as the best two-way player in the league. James averaged 26.4 points, 8.7 assists, 8.6 rebounds and shot 54.8% from the field, but the Cavaliers struggled at times throughout the season, particularly defensively, and finished as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. This is the first time James has been outside of the top three in MVP voting since 2007-08, when he finished fourth.

Cavs send Celtics to record loss, 130-86, lead series 2-0

  Cavs send Celtics to record loss, 130-86, lead series 2-0 <p>LeBron James scored 30 points, Kevin Love had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers steamrolled the Boston Celtics 130-86 on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals and tie an NBA record with their 13th straight playoff victory.</p>Cleveland led by 14 points after one quarter, by a record 41 at the half and by 46 after three. Even with James and the rest of the starters sitting out the fourth quarter, the 130 points was the most ever scored by the franchise in a playoff game.

Jason Concepcion: If Russell Westbrook doesn’t win the MVP award , future generations will look back and wonder LeBron James . Kevin O’Connor: “Who is the 2016–17 NBA Most Valuable Player ? I’ve looked at the numbers. Depending on the metric used, you’ll come up with different answers.”

LeBron James Jr., Bryce Maximus James . awards . 2012 - NBA Finals MVP Award - Gatorade National Player of the Year Award 2005-2006 - NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award .

Finalists for the league's other regular season awards, which are listed below, were also announced during the 90-minute segment prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Rookie of the Year

  • Joel Embiid (center, Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Malcolm Brogdon (guard, Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Dario Saric (forward, Philadelphia 76ers)

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Kawhi Leonard (forward, San Antonio Spurs)
  • Rudy Gobert (center, Utah Jazz)
  • Draymond Green (forward, Golden State Warriors)

Sixth Man of the Year

  • Eric Gordon (guard, Houston Rockets)
  • Andre Iguodala (forward, Golden State Warriors)
  • Lou Williams (guard, Los Angeles Lakers/Houston Rockets)

Most Improved Player

  • Rudy Gobert (center, Utah Jazz)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (forward, Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Nikola Jokic (center, Denver Nuggets)

Coach of the Year

  • Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat)
  • Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Mike D'Antoni (Houston Rockets)

The award winners will be announced during the inaugural NBA Awards show, which will air live from New York's Basketball City on June 26 on TNT after the conclusion of the NBA Finals.

Follow USA TODAY Sports' AJ Neuharth-Keusch on Twitter @tweetAJNK


LeBron, JR Smith took in Future concert together .
With six days to go until the NBA Finals officially tip off, the duo not only remained in Cleveland, but decided to take in a Future concert as they casually await Thursday’s game. LeBron James & J.R. Smith are staying loose over Memorial Day Weekend. They were at Future's concert in Cleveland Saturday (@RaelynnCarver). pic.twitter.com/dVk1t0lGIB— ThePostGame (@ThePostGame) May 28, 2017But no seriously, what's up Bron Bron?! @KingJames#NobodySafeTour#Clevelandpic.twitter.com/7rqOm8J8se— rae

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