The NBA will host an awards show for the first time in league history, which will air live on June 26th from New York City.
This year's MVP race is considered one of the best in recent memory with four strong candidates in James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James.
"Well, we couldn’t have asked for a better MVP race heading into first NBA awards show," said deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. "For us to be able to celebrate the outstanding performances in our league in one nationally televised show with our partner TNT, an Emmy-award winning team, it’s another way for us to celebrate the performances of our players on the court. The show is going to be a celebration of the game, it’s going to feature our current players, legends, celebrities and we’re going to not only highlight the traditional Kia performance awards, but we’re also excited about adding a variety of other awards that’s really going to highlight the best of what our game has to offer on and off the court."
Tatum was asked if announcing the awards after the playoffs instead of during them will change the spirit of the awards.
"I don’t think it does. Here’s what I will tell you, it will allow the players to participate and focus completely on the game during the season. Then the celebrations can take place at once after the season. We want and those players have wanted to focus on the game and what’s at stake and what’s at hand and winning an NBA championship, that’s what those players are focused on in April, May and June. This change in time will allow them to do that. Then it’s time for recognition all at one time. As a basketball purist, I agree there were sometimes storylines that got interesting and intriguing, but now, all the stories will truly be about the performances on the court, and the road to winning an NBA championship."