Sorry, Stephen Curry — James Harden ‘knows’ he was MVP
It’s ancient history now, but the 2014-15 NBA season saw a real battle for the MVP award between Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and Houston Rockets guard James Harden. Curry, of course, emerged victorious, and his team’s run to the NBA title served as a tidy coronation.
But that doesn’t mean Harden has to recognize Curry’s MVP authority. In an interview with Fran Blinebury of NBA.com, Harden said that he was the real most valuable player last season — and that he’s the best in the league:
“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” Harden said. “I thought I was last year, too.”Article continues below ...
“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.”
Unfortunately for Harden, the MVP voters disagreed. Curry won 100 first-place votes to Harden’s 25. And when the two had a chance to duke it out on the court in the Western Conference finals, Curry’s Warriors won in decisive fashion, eliminating the Rockets in five games.
And Curry isn’t Harden’s only competition for the title of best player in the NBA. There’s that LeBron James gentleman who plays in Cleveland, and Kevin Durant, Harden’s former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, would probably like to have a word with the bearded one, too. Heck, even Indiana Pacers forward Paul George voiced his opinion this offseason that he’s the best player in the league.
Here’s the upside: In just a few short weeks, all of these parties and more will be back on the court with the games counting for real. And a new MVP campaign begins.