Is James Harden The NBA MVP? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
With one vote counted, it appears that James Harden is the NBA’s 2021 Most Valuable Player; and if you don’t believe that, just ask the Nets point guard, who proclaimed himself the league’s MVP when asked Friday night. “The Beard” has been Brooklyn’s go-to player as the team continues to deal with the fragile body of Kevin Durant, who has seen limited playing time this year while the Nets have gone 15-3 without Durant in the lineup, all thanks to James Harden. For my money, however, naming James Harden the NBA MVP would illustrate all that is wrong with the league while also highlighting what he is as a player, someone who can get it done during the regular season, but has yet to prove it in the NBA Playoffs.
LeBron James talked about wanting to win this year’s MVP, and after a month of James pushing himself in the absence of Anthony Davis, he fell to a high ankle sprain that will likely see him out of action until May. After an ugly two-point win against Pistons, James Harden was asked if he was in the MVP conversation this season, his reply:
“I feel like I am the MVP. It’s just that simple. I don’t want to speak individually of myself, but I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Harden was given the job of point guard after he arrived in Brooklyn and Kyrie Irving deferred the job to him. Harden, who during the regular season knows how to score at will, is not really known as a two-way player like fellow MVP candidates Joel Embiid and LeBron James are. With both the 76ers and Lakers stars on the bench with injures, however, the door may have opened for Harden to secure another MVP trophy. Something that in recent years has meant more to Harden than actually playing for an NBA title, which is something Shaquille O’Neal says Harden needs to win or his trade to Brooklyn will have been a bust.
For players like LeBron James and James Harden, winning trophies are important. Unlike LeBron, however, Harden lacks the postseason hardware that makes him an all-time elite player. That while the current Brooklyn Nets guard knows his postseason history is weak, which is why winning regular seasons awards are more important to his legacy. If these two players want to fight over who was better from Christmas Day until the NFL Draft, be my guest, because true basketball fans don’t care about such stuff, only who is standing at the end of the NBA Finals.
If James Harden stays healthy and the Brooklyn Nets keep on winning, then the guard is correct, he does have a strong case for the league’s MVP award this season. In the end, however, no one would care if he won or loss the award if the Brooklyn Nets don’t reach the NBA Finals or even win the championship.
Perhaps we can set it up where LeBron James and James Harden meet in the Finals, with the winner getting a ring as well as the MVP trophy since both players want it. That way the NBA will do what it should have always done, which is include what players do in the postseason when voting on these awards, because without doing so, they are as meaningless as the steps James Harden takes before launching a three-point shot during another triple-double game.
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Is James Harden The NBA MVP? | TooAthletic.com
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