With the 2017-18 NBA season entering the final stretch, there has been plenty of debate around which player should take home MVP honors. Among the notable names, the favorite in fact, on this short list of candidates is Houston Rockets guard James Harden.

Not only have the Rockets been the best team in regular season, by far, but Harden has managed to mirror his stellar numbers from last year in which he finished second in the MVP voting. However, former NBA star Metta World Peace made it known via Twitter that The Beard should be taking home some serious hardware this year.

While World Peace’s praise should be nothing out of the ordinary, one cannot help but think how they have come a long way since the infamous elbow incident. It seemed like ages ago when the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder were ready to replace the veteran Los Angeles Lakers for Western Conference supremacy. Needless to say, their showdowns always carried a bit of an added edge.

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However, emotions got the best of World Peace after he followed up his stellar fastbreak dunk with a vicious elbow to the side of Harden’s head. The former was understandably ejected and forced to serve a seven-game suspension.

Fast-forward to the present day and Harden is now among the best players in the league and could very well be poised to take home MVP honors. Houston is sitting comfortably atop the NBA with their 58-14 record thanks to their star backcourt pairing of Harden and point guard Chris Paul. Not to mention, The Beard’s numbers speak for themselves as he is averaging 31.2 points, 8.7 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game.