This past season James Harden finished second in MVP voting this past year behind Giannis Antetokounmpo by 165 points according to ESPN’s First Take
However, in a recent interview with Houston’s local radio station 97.9 The Box. The 2017 MVP, James Harden was asked about his historic season this past year, and the MVP race was mentioned. Harden primary stance on it was that the media narrative that formed around him Giannis helped him win the 2018 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.”
Harden racked up a variety of different accomplishments last season including a 32-game streak with at least 30 points, which ranks second only to Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.
Former three-time Gilbert Arenas recently spoke about the MVP race between Giannis and Harden last week during a phone interview.
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 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.
Current NBA analyst and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas picked Giannis as the MVP because the Bucks had a better record than the Rockets.
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.