James Harden just can’t get over it.
It’s been months since Golden State Warriors point guard and eventual champion Stephen Curry took home the league’s MVP award. Months of reflection, months of distractions and months of vacation – yet Harden still cannot let go about an award he thought he had earned.
Harden came in second in the voting and his team’s season ended early thanks to Curry and his Warriors team. Sure, voting ends at the end of the regular season, but Harden is acting like the voting polls are still wide open. You don’t hear politicians campaign months after the new president has been sworn in – it’s pointless.
For Harden, that’s not the case. From Fran Blinebury of NBA.com:
“I know I was the MVP,” Harden said. “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’s 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. That stays with me.”
Writers and experts had discussed and compared the two candidates for months before the voting ended and statistically it was pretty even. Every year the MVP is interpreted in two different ways: the literal description and the “best player on best team” logic.
Over the years, one could argue the latter has given away more awards than the most valuable to his team. The Warriors had a historically great season and Curry was the one leading the way. In fact they were so good, Curry sat out the entire fourth quarter in 14 games due to a blowout. The Warriors dominated last year.
Harden cannot stop talking about himself not winning an award – he seems more upset about that than he does about losing to the Warriors in the playoffs. They say “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team,'” but apparently for Harden, you bet there is.
The award has been sitting in Curry’s home all summer – it’s not going to be Harden’s no matter how much he complains. My advice to Harden: stop talking and do you best to win next year – we are tired of talking about it (or listening to you talk about it).