After becoming the first NBA player since Oscar Robertson in 55 years to average a triple-double on the season, Russell Westbrook has been officially named the 2017 MVP.
The OKC Thunder star received the honor at Monday night’s (June 26) first-ever NBA Awards, which aired live on TNT from New York City, beating out the Houston Rockets’ James Harden and San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.
He became emotional as he thanked his family, including his mother, brother and wife — all of whom were in attendance. “I couldn’t thank everybody, but thanks, you guys, to everybody who helped me along the way,” Westbrook said.
In addition to averaging a triple-double, Westbrook also broke Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles in a season with 42. And, after winning the MVP award, he becomes the first player since Moses Malone in 1981 to win on a team that didn’t reach at least 50 wins.
Despite the MVP season for Russell, the Thunders were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Houston Rockets.