Former All-Star Compares Rockets Starting Lineup to a YMCA Rollout

Getty Images

It has been a couple of months after James Harden was dethroned as league MVP, by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Recently James opened up about not winning the award for the second year in a row.

In a recent interview with Hoston based radio station 97.9 The Box, the seven-time All-Star described last season as, “one for the books.”  Harden also believes the media narrative around Giannis, helped him capture the 2018-19 MVP award.

“Once the media, they create a narrative about somebody from the beginning of the year, I think they just take that narrative and just run with it the entire year,” Harden said during the in-studio interview. “I don’t want to get into details. All I can do is control what I can do, and I went out there and did what I was supposed to do at a high level. There’s only a few other seasons that anybody has ever done that before.”

Last year Harden set a variety of different records including a 32-game streak with at least 30 points, which was only second to Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain. However, Harden finished second in the MVP voting last season.

Someone else that feels Harden should have won the MVP award last season is former 3-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas.

I’m just going to be blunt!  I don’t think he should have one it this year because there is not that he did this year that gave him MVP. The reason I say that is because he averaged 27 and ten last year and 27 and 12 this year and shot worse from the free-throw line this season. His impact didn’t do anything; it’s the team I felt got better. They add depth to their roster with Lopez and other offensive pieces to help spread the floor. Giannis didn’t do anything different, while the team got better, and they won more games. That shouldn’t be the criteria for MVP. I didn’t win an MVP, but I was mention in the race because my team got better. Now, on the other hand, you have a guy, who won last year averaging 30 points, and then he averaged 36 this year.

He carried his injured teams to the playoffs on his back. When I say carried his time, I want you to listen to “the height” line-up to see the impact James Harden had — at the point guard position 6’1, shooting guard James Harden 6’5, at the three 6’3 Eric Gordon, at the four 6’5 P.J Tucker. So, four of your players are 6’1, 6’5, 6’3, and 6’5 that is a YMCA lineup.

You have AAU teams bigger than this lineup and it probably the smallest lineup in NBA history. This is perhaps the smallest lineup in NBA history, and you have a guy averaging 36 points per game. He gave everyone the thought that this team could compete for an NBA Championship and his output this year was better than last year. He is not a guy who hid between a record. It is not Gianni’s fault, but you averaged 27 points and ten, do the same thing this year, but your team wins 15 more games this season. So, it is obviously not you.

Gilbert makes an excellent point, because Pistons tremendous and Hall of Fame point guard, Isiah Thomas selected Giannis over Harden due to regular-season wins.

From the regular season, I thought Harden had another great season, and he did things that another hasn’t done in a while. Giannis also had a great regular season, but from a winning standpoint, I always go with the winner. This is not a knock on the season that Harden had, but what Giannis did from a winning standpoint to me he would get my vote. It would only be by a very slim margin because you can make an argument for of them and they could be co-MVPs, but if I had to pick just one, I would have to give it to Giannis this year.

The Milwaukee Bucks finished the 2018-19 season with a 60-22 record landing the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Rockets end the season 53-29.

What do you think?

Written by Landon Buford

For(bes) The Culture, Co-Founder Vinasia Miles Interview

Giannis Didn’t Elevate His Game Enough to Win MVP, Says All-Star