NBA announces finalists for MVP award and other performance awards


The race for the NBA's most coveted individual award has dwindled to three players. 

The league announced that reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and James Harden are finalists for the 2020 MVP award. 

If Antetokounmpo wins, he will become the first player to win back-to-back MVP awards since Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry accomplished the feat in 2015 and 2016. 

James, a four-time MVP, has won the award back-to-back on two occasions, with the first occurrence being 2009 and 2010 and the other being 2012 and 2013. Harden won the award in 2018. 

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the MVP will be judged from the start of the regular season through March 11, when the NBA suspended play. 

James, Curry, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, the late Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell have all won the award at least two consecutive seasons. Bird, Chamberlain and Russell are the only players to have won the award in three straight seasons. 

The NBA has already announced the awards for Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year.

Rookie of the Year

Ja Morant -- Memphis Grizzlies

Sixth Man of the Year

Montrezl Harrell -- Los Angeles Clippers

Defensive Player of the Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo -- Milwaukee Bucks

Most Improved Player

Brandon Ingram -- New Orleans Pelicans

Coach of the Year

Nick Nurse -- Toronto Raptors