Drake will present several awards during the show, including most valuable player, rookie of the year, defensive player of the year, most improved player, coach of the year and the NBA sixth man award, the honor given to the most valuable bench player. Drake will also give out a handful of honors voted on by fans. Those categories will be announced on Thursday, according to NBA.com.
Drake, who doubles as a “fan ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors, will be joined by TNT analysts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal from “Inside the NBA.” The league said it expects most of the NBA’s biggest stars to attend the event.
The biggest, of course, will be those whose names have come up when talking about the MVP award, such as LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
There’s a chance, however, none of those players will win the coveted annual honor, however, according to The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps, who earlier this month argued San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard should come out on top.
” … [T]he true bulwark of the case [for MVP] is in what surrounds Leonard in San Antonio. Yes, they are the Spurs, and yes, they still have Gregg Popovich as their coach. This, though, is not your father’s Spurs team,” Bontemps wrote on April 11. “LaMarcus Aldridge, who was supposed to be the team’s second all-star behind Leonard, has taken a step backward. Danny Green is a perfectly acceptable starting shooting guard, but Tony Parker has plummeted to the bottom of the starting point guard ranks in the NBA. … And yet, despite all of that … San Antonio is on pace to win more than 60 games and have the second-best record in the NBA.” (They ended up winning 61 regular season games, six less than the league-leading Golden State Warriors.)
Absent from any of the MVP discussion, and really any award discussion at all, are any Raptors players. Drake’s favorite team (when he’s not rooting for Golden State, the Lakers, the Cavaliers, and numerous other teams out there), will likely have to settle for watching their famous fan ambassador give out the awards to the Raptors’ rivals.
Drake, meanwhile, will probably be okay with that.