The 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors were honored with an award for “Best Team” and 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant received an award for “Best Championship Performance” at the 2017 ESPY Awards ceremony in Los Angeles tonight. Fans determined the winners in each category by voting online beginning in late June, when the nominations were announced, until the start of this evening’s ceremony, which was broadcast on ABC.
The Warriors posted an NBA-best record of 67-15 (.817) during the regular season, becoming the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three-straight seasons (67, 73, 67), before setting an NBA postseason record for winning percentage with a 16-1 (.941) mark that included a playoff-record 15-straight wins. Following four-game sweeps over the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs, the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1, in the 2017 NBA Finals to earn the fifth title in franchise history.
Durant earned NBA Finals MVP honors with averages of 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.60 blocks and 1.00 steal during the Finals, scoring at least 30 points in all five games. He hit a go-ahead three-point field goal in a Game 3 win at Cleveland and scored a playoff-high 39 points in Golden State’s series-clinching Game 5 win. Durant previously won ESPYs for Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete in 2014 and Best Male College Athlete in 2007.
Also nominated for “Best Championship Performance” were New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Clemson University quarterback DeShaun Watson and Oklahoma University softball standout Shay Knighten. Also nominated for “Best Team” were the Chicago Cubs, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Penguins, Clemson Tigers college football team, South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team, and the United States Women’s Gymnastics team.