It was just a matter of announcing it, but James Harden was not named MVP for the 2016-17 season. The NBA gave that award to Russell Westbrook Monday night.
The award votes were made by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
We made our case for Harden over Westbrook at the end of the regular season, but the media narrative was too difficult to overcome with this one as the high-usage Westbrook averaged a triple-double. Despite the fact that you could easily make the case that Harden created more team success than Westbrook, you could also argue that Harden had a better individual season than Westbrook, even considering the triple-double line.
Frankly, it’s hard to pump up either player at the awards show considering it’s well after the playoffs. Harden and the Rockets easily dismissed Westbrook and the Thunder in the first round and then Harden completely disappeared when it mattered in the second round.
However, based on the regular season alone, we witnessed two of the greatest overall offensive outputs ever.