NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James will have to settle for trying to win another NBA title. He isn’t even a finalist for the MVP award.
Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard are the three players in the running for the league’s top individual honor.
The NBA announced the three finalists for that and its five other individual awards Friday. They are voted on by a panel of writers and broadcasters. The winners will be announced June 26 in New York during the NBA’s first awards show.
In previous years, the individual awards were announced separately throughout the postseason.
MVP: Westbrook, Harden and Leonard.
The NBA will have a new winner after Golden State’s Stephen Curry won the last two seasons. Westbrook had a record 42 triple-doubles this season and averaged a triple-double for the season. Harden also put up record-setting offensive numbers, while Leonard carried the Spurs on both ends of the floor as they won 61 games and a division title in their first season after Tim Duncan retired.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, Malcom Brogdan.
The Philadelphia 76ers will have two cracks at the award for top first-year player. Embiid made the final three even though he was limited to 31 games by injuries, while Saric put up impressive numbers after his teammate was lost. Brogdan, a second-round pick, helped the Milwaukee Bucks made the playoffs.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Gregg Popovich, Mike D’Antoni, Erik Spoelstra
Popovich, often regarded as the NBA’s best coach, has a chance to win for the third time in six years after the Spurs compiled the NBA’s second-best record. D’Antoni can add this award to the one he won in Phoenix in 2005…