The show marks the first time the NBA will hand out its coveted individual performance awards during a single ceremony. Along with Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year and other top awards, the NBA will add additional categories for the show, including fan-voted awards. Categories and finalists will be announced April 27th during Inside the NBA on TNT.
Along with Drake serving as the night’s MC, the NBA Awards will feature members of the Inside the NBA team including Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. Additional NBA stars will also be in attendance along with celebrity presenters and musical performers, who will be announced at a later date.
For Drake, the NBA Awards gig follows his turn hosting ESPN’s ESPY Awards in 2014. The rapper has also helmed Saturday Night Live twice, most recently in May 2016. The rapper is also a devout NBA fan. He frequently pops up in the front row during play-off games or high-profile regular season games, especially for his hometown Toronto Raptors (he was named the team’s “global ambassador” in 2013 and is honored with an annual Drake Night). In 2016, Drake coached Team Canada during the All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game.
Drake released his most recent project, More Life – a self-described “playlist” – in March.