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Inaugural Larry Bird award appropriately won by a Celtics player
The Eastern Conference Finals MVP award is named after Larry Bird, and it's one of several new awards designed to celebrate big performances and tell the story of the league.
Minutes after the Boston Celtics held off the Miami Heat for a Game 7 win on Sunday to advance to the NBA Finals, a newly-created award was handed out by the NBA.
It was the Larry Bird Eastern Conference MVP award and appropriately, it went to another special Celtics player: Jayson Tatum.
Tatum, 24, received eight of the nine votes. Jimmy Butler of the Heat received the other.
A couple weeks ago, during postseason play, the NBA announced the addition of a few more awards. There’s an MVP for the regular season, which went to Denver’s Nikola Jokic, and a Final MVP. But in an effort to celebrate outstanding play into the conference finals, there’s now an MVP of the conference finals.
In the Western Conference, it’s named after Magic Johnson — and the first one went to Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
Both teams advancing to the finals also received a conference championship trophy.
In the East, it’s named after Celtics great Bob Cousy.
In the West, it’s named after Indy’s own Oscar Robertson.
Obviously, Larry Legend isn’t on Twitter … even though the logo of a bird for the platform is named “Larry” — after him.
Bird is still on the Pacers’ payroll, but is no longer involved like he once was. He lives in Naples, Fla. and opted not to attend All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, where the NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary with about 60 of the top 75 players in history.
However, Bill Russell, an 11-time champion, is on Twitter and wrote the following after the hardware was handed out.