The National Basketball Association (NBA) presents 13 annual awards to recognize its teams, players, and coaches for their accomplishments. This does not include the NBA championship trophy which is given to the winning team of the NBA Finals. The NBA's championship trophy made its first appearance after the inaugural NBA Finals in 1947. In 1964, it was named after Walter A. Brown who was instrumental in merging the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League into the NBA.[1][2] The Brown Trophy design remained the same until 1977 when the current trophy design was first introduced although it retained the Walter A. Brown title.[3] In 1984, the trophy was renamed to honor former NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien.[3][4][5] The NBA then first started awarding Eastern Conference and Western Conference championship trophies in 2001, renaming them in 2022 after former players Bob Cousy and Oscar Robertson, respectively.[6]

The NBA's first individual awards were the Rookie of the Year and the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, both of which were introduced in 1953.[7][8] Three individual awards are awarded during the postseason: the Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP, the Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP, and the Bill Russell Finals MVP. The Executive of the Year is the only award not presented by the NBA. It is named annually by Sporting News but is officially recognized by the NBA.[9]

Through the 2015–16 season and since the 2019–20 season, each individual award, with the exception of the Finals MVP, was awarded at the end of the regular season while the NBA Playoffs were ongoing. This procedure was different from the other major professional sports leagues, which have long handed out individual awards after their postseasons have concluded. The 2016–17 season was the first in which the NBA held an awards show after the completion of the Finals,[10] during which the winners of all season-long individual awards are announced[11] except for the winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, which continued to be announced during the playoffs until 2017[12] and in 2018 was announced after the playoffs but before the awards show.[13]

Aside from these annual awards, the league also has weekly and monthly honors during the regular season for its players and coaches. In 2021, the NBA made a social justice award, named after 6-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award. This award was made to recognize players who are making strides in the fight for social justice.

Team trophies

Award Created Description Most recent winner Notes
Larry O'Brien Trophy 1977 The NBA's championship trophy; awarded to the winning team of the NBA Finals. Named after Larry O'Brien, who served as NBA Commissioner from 1975 to 1984. Golden State Warriors [3][4][14]
Walter A. Brown Trophy 1947 The NBA's first championship trophy which was awarded to the winning team of the NBA Finals until it was replaced with the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Named after team owner Walter A. Brown. N/A; trophy retired after 1977 [5]
Bob Cousy Trophy 2001 The NBA's Eastern Conference championship trophy; awarded to the winning team of the Eastern Conference Finals. Renamed after point guard Bob Cousy in 2022. Boston Celtics [6][15]
Oscar Robertson Trophy 2001 The NBA's Western Conference championship trophy; awarded to the winning team of the Western Conference Finals. Renamed after point guard Oscar Robertson in 2022. Golden State Warriors [6][15]
Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton Trophy 2022 The NBA's Atlantic Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Atlantic Division. Named after Nat Clifton, the first African American player to sign an NBA contract. Boston Celtics [16]
Wayne Embry Trophy 2022 The NBA's Central Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Central Division. Named after Wayne Embry, the first African American NBA general manager and team president. Milwaukee Bucks [16]
Earl Lloyd Trophy 2022 The NBA's Southeast Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Southeast Division. Named after Earl Lloyd, the first African American player to play a game in the NBA. Miami Heat [16]
Willis Reed Trophy 2022 The NBA's Southwest Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Southwest Division. Named after player, coach, and general manager Willis Reed. Memphis Grizzlies [16]
Sam Jones Trophy 2022 The NBA's Northwest Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Northwest Division. Named after shooting guard Sam Jones. Utah Jazz [16]
Chuck Cooper Trophy 2022 The NBA's Pacific Division championship trophy; awarded to the first-placed team in the Pacific Division. Named after Chuck Cooper, the first African American player to be drafted by an NBA team. Phoenix Suns [16]

Honors

Honor Created Description Notes
All-NBA Team 1947 Three 5-player teams (a first, second, and third team) composed of the best players in the league during the regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. [17]
All-Rookie Team 1963 Two 5-player teams (a first and second team) composed of the top rookies during the regular season as voted by NBA head coaches. The coaches are not allowed to vote for players of their own team. [18]
All-Defensive Team 1969 Two 5-player teams (a first and second team) composed of the best defensive players in the league during the regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. [19]

Individual awards

Award Created Description Most recent winner(s) Notes
All-Star Game MVP 1951 Awarded to the best performing player of the annual NBA All-Star Game as voted by a panel of media members. Trophy renamed after shooting guard Kobe Bryant in 2020. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) [20]
Rookie of the Year 1953 Awarded to the top rookie of the NBA regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada. Scottie Barnes (Toronto Raptors) [21]
Most Valuable Player 1956 Awarded to the best performing player of the NBA regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters and media members. Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets) [22]
Coach of the Year 1963 Awarded to the best coach of the NBA regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters and media members. Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) [23]
NBA Finals Most Valuable Player 1969 Awarded to the best performing player of the NBA Finals as voted by a panel of nine media members.[a] Trophy renamed after center Bill Russell in 2009.[24] Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) [25]
NBA Eastern Conference Finals Most Valuable Player 2022 Awarded to the best performing player of the Eastern Conference Finals as voted by a panel of media members. Trophy named after forward Larry Bird. Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) [15]
NBA Western Conference Finals Most Valuable Player 2022 Awarded to the best performing player of the Western Conference Finals as voted by a panel of media members. Trophy named after point guard Magic Johnson. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) [15]
Executive of the Year 1973 Awarded to the NBA's top front office executive as voted by the executives from the league's 30 teams. Zach Kleiman (Memphis Grizzlies) [26]
Citizenship Award 1975 Awarded to a team member who showed "great service and dedication to the community" as voted by the PBWA. Named after J. Walter Kennedy, who served as NBA Commissioner from 1963 to 1975. Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers) [13]
Defensive Player of the Year 1983 Awarded to the top defensive player of the NBA regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada. Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics) [27]
Sixth Man of the Year 1983 Awarded to the best performing player as a substitute (or sixth man) during the NBA regular season as voted by a panel of sportswriters. Tyler Herro (Miami Heat) [28]
Most Improved Player 1986 Awarded to the most improved player in the NBA as voted by a panel of sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada. Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) [29]
Sportsmanship Award 1996 Awarded to the player who most displays "the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play and integrity" as voted by NBA players. Patty Mills (Brooklyn Nets) [30]
Teammate of the Year 2013 Awarded to the "ideal teammate" who exemplifies "selfless play and commitment and dedication to his team" as voted by NBA players. Named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes, who were teammates from 1955 to 1958. Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks) [31]
Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 Awarded to the NBA player who has had a lifetime of achievement in the NBA. Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) and Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) [32]
Social Justice Champion Award 2021 Awarded to the NBA player who are making strides in the fight for social justice. Named after center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, based on his involvement with social activism. Reggie Bullock (Dallas Mavericks) [33]

See also

Notes

References

General

Specific

  1. ^ "Walter A. Brown". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "NBA". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "The trophies". St. Petersburg Times. April 10, 2003. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "NBA Legends Launch 2005 NBA Legends Tour: Destination Finals". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c "NBA redesigns Finals trophy, adds awards named after Magic Johnson, Larry Bird". Washington Post. May 12, 2022. To complete the postseason collection, the NBA updated its conference championship trophies, first created in 2001, and renamed them after Hall of Famers Bob Cousy (for the East) and Oscar Robertson (for the West)
  7. ^ "All-Star Game: Year-by-Year Results". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  8. ^ "Rookie of the Year". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
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  11. ^ "2017 NBA Awards Finalists". National Basketball Association. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  12. ^ "Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James wins PBWA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award" (Press release). National Basketball Association. May 21, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Mavericks' J. J. Barea Wins 2017-18 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award" (Press release). National Basketball Association. June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Li, David K. "Steph Curry leads Golden State Warriors to their fourth NBA title since 2015". NBC News. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d "NBA introduces new lineup of postseason hardware". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "NBA unveils new trophies for division winners named after 6 NBA legends". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
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  20. ^ "Akron kids: Curry wins MVP, LeBron ends ASG". ESPN.com. 2022-02-21. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  21. ^ "Raptors' Scottie Barnes wins 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year award". www.cbssports.com. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  22. ^ "Nikola Jokic wins 2020-21 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
  23. ^ "Monty Williams of Phoenix Suns wins 2021-22 Coach of the Year award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  24. ^ "The Finals MVP to Receive Bill Russell MVP Award". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. February 14, 2009. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  25. ^ "Finals Most Valuable Player". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "Grizzlies' Zach Kleiman wins 2021-22 NBA Executive of the Year Award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  27. ^ "Boston's Marcus Smart wins 2021-22 Kia Defensive Player of the Year award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
  28. ^ "Heat's Tyler Herro wins 2021-22 Kia Sixth Man of the Year award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
  29. ^ "Ja Morant named 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Improved Player". NBA.com. May 25, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  30. ^ "Patty Mills wins 2021-22 NBA Sportsmanship award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  31. ^ "Bucks' Jrue Holiday wins 2021-22 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
  32. ^ "2018 NBA Awards Complete List of Winners". National Basketball Association. June 25, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  33. ^ "Reggie Bullock wins 2021-22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award". www.nba.com. Retrieved 2022-05-26.
  34. ^ Mike Bresnahan (June 19, 2008). "Numbers from final game tell bad tale for Lakers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  35. ^ Johnny Ludden (June 25, 2005). "MVP voting as close as the series". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved July 15, 2008.
  36. ^ "Clippers' Montrezl Harrell wins NBA Hustle Award". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28.