Despite winning MVP at the first annual Player’s Choice Awards, James Harden is apparently still bitter about finishing second in the NBA MVP voting.
“I am the best player in the league. I believe that. I thought I was last year, too. I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season…. Credit the Golden State Warriors for an unbelievable year. They had an unbelievable team, coaching staff, everything. But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs. There are so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player.”
The definition of the NBA MVP has been inconsistent for years. Stephen Curry was the best player on the best team, which had the fourth best winning percentage in NBA history. However, one can argue that Harden was more valuable to his team last year, carrying them to the playoffs without Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley for most of the season. Nevertheless, Harden had the opportunity to validate his MVP status during the Western Conference finals against Steph Curry but failed to make plays when his team needed him in crunch time.
Fortunately for Harden, he has extra motivation this season to prove his MVP worth.