The NBA may be in its offseason, but the league’s players never stop moving. Last month, BET partnered with the NBA Players’ Association to host the first-ever Players’ Awards at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, where NBA players unveiled their picks for Most Valuable Player, Best Rookie, Best Defender and more. Two-time NBA champion Ray Allen described the event as the only show “for us and by us.”
Actor and comedian Jay Pharoah hosted the event, bringing the crowd to hysterics with his celebrity impressions of the comedians and actors he beat to host the festivities, including Kevin Hart and Will Smith.
Lil Wayne got the crowd moving with a performance of his new song Glory.
While 2 Chainz kept things moving with Watch Out.
Ray Allen won the Man of the Year award for his work to raise awareness for juvenile diabetes and his foundation “Ray of Hope,” which provides academic and after-school programs to children in under-resourced schools. President Barack Obama congratulated Allen with a pre-taped message, “Everyone knows that Ray is one of the greatest shooters of all time, but what a lot of folks don’t know is that Ray is one of the best, most-generous guys around.”
Allen Iverson was named Game Changer of the Year in recognition of his legendary career. “I’ve got to pay homage to the man who gave me the vision: Michael Jordan. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have the vision to be a basketball player,” said Iverson in his acceptance speech. “This is one of the most special awards I’ve received. Because it comes from y’all [NBA players]. Y’all were the guys who made sure I never took a night off.”
Get a full recap of the night and more videos here.