Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Russell Westbrook Points People To God During NBA MVP Speech

Russell Westbrook’s 2016-17 NBA season was one for the ages.

He averaged 31.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for an entire season.

On Monday Night, he was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player and upon receiving the award, Westbrook began to tear up as he thanked God and his family for getting him to where he is today.

2017 Kia NBA MVP Russell Westbrook gives his heartfelt acceptance speech at the #NBAAwards!

Posted by NBA on Monday, June 26, 2017

 

“First and foremost, thank you to the man above,” Westbrook said. “Without His blessing, without His honor, I wouldn’t be standing here today… I am very, very blessed to be in the position I am today.”

During his speech, Russell invited some of his teammates who were in attendance at the NBA Awards ceremony to stand alongside him on stage.

“These are my brothers… they sacrificed so much for me throughout the year. It was obviously an amazing season for me, but without these guys and the rest of our guys who aren’t here, none of this would be possible,” Westbrook said as he addressed his teammates. “This award is not for me. This award is for all these guys, and I am very, very thankful to have you guys in my corner.”

Westbrook went on to thank the NBA, the media, the fans, his agent, and lastly, his family.

Upon mentioning his parents, Westbrook began to tear up, overcome with emotion at all he had been through.

“Without you guys, I don’t know where I’d be. I can’t be standing here without your support, your sacrifice, everything you guys have done for me,” he said. “I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, but… I can’t say thank you enough.”

Russell Westbrook finished with 888 total votes. Rockets guard James Harden finished second with 753 votes, and Kawhi Leonard finished third with 500 votes.