African FootballNigerians in NBA

2019 NBA Awards: Nigerians in contention of top NBA Awards

There will be two players of Nigerian descent to cheer on as the 2019 NBA awards are decided today.

Greek-born of Nigerian descent Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nominated for the NBA Most Valuable Player and NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards.

Wins for the Greek Freak in both categories of awards will put him in an exclusive list of players that includes Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to have won both awards in the same year.

Another player of Nigerian descent in contention for an award is Suns Deandre Ayton. The Bahamas-born power-forward has a Nigerian father.

“I don’t really know much on that side, but I know … there’s a lot of people there,” Ayton said of Nigeria. “And I just want to be grateful and honored by my parents for putting me in this world to be in a position I’m in to represent everybody.”

Featured Awards Finalists

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
James Harden, Houston Rockets

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

Kia NBA Sixth Man Award

Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
Lou Williams, LA Clippers

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Kia NBA Most Improved Player

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

NBA Coach of the Year

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks
Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets
Doc Rivers, LA Clippers

The winners of the awards will be revealed at 3am Nigerian and the Awards will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

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