Who will win the NBA MVP this year? Russell Westbrook? James Harden? Someone else? The league is going to make its fans wait longer than normal to find out.
The NBA, which normally announces its MVP in the playoffs, will now do so in an awards show after the 2017 NBA Finals.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until June 26 (when the NBA is holding their first annual award show) to find out who wins the MVP award. pic.twitter.com/k3rY8drwbZ
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 5, 2017
Traditionally, the NBA MVP is awarded in an on-court ceremony before a playoff game, somewhere around the second round. The last MVP whose team didn’t make it that far was Dirk Nowitzki in 2007, who was given his trophy in a press conference. Since then, all but one MVP (LeBron James, 2010) was on a team that advanced to at least the conference finals.
The NBA is taking a page from the NFL playbook. That league has recently taken to awarding its MVP in an awards show the night before the Super Bowl.
For fans, it’s annoying.
It’s nice to have MVP debates over by the time the conference finals and NBA Finals roll around. Also, this will fall right in between the draft and beginning of free agency, which will inevitably lead to the NBA MVP announcement getting overlooked.
That’s one of a few reasons why, in the future, we should expect this date to be moved back even further.
Sports like to find ways to dominate the news cycle, both in season and out. No sport does it better than the NFL, which remains the No. 1 league in the country. Why wouldn’t the NBA follow suit?
Because of free agency, the draft, and the recently concluded finals, late June is always an NBA dominant time of the year. But early-mid July? Not so much. The NBA can do something to change that if it continues to move this ceremony back within a few years.
Remember, the NBA doesn’t produce fluke MVPs. With the exception of Derrick Rose, every NBA MVP is either in the Hall of Fame or obviously will be as soon as he becomes eligible. Whether it’s Westbrook, Harden, LeBron, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant or anyone else, the awarding of a new MVP will always be a big story.
Moving the date back is annoying, but it’s something we must just get used to. It’s not going away.