James Harden downplays MVP talk in favor of championship
Last season’s MVP battle was one of the closest in recent memory, as former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden competed mightily. Although the Oklahoma City Thunder star eventually won, the Houston Rockets stalwart is once again making a strong case for himself to be the winner this season.
However, when asked if he has his eyes set on highest individual award in the league, James Harden made it known that he wants the Rockets to win a championship instead. He also added, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, that they will not allow the challenges a season brings to take their focus away from winning it all.
James Harden was asked if he's looking to win MVP. "I’m looking to win the championship this year. That’s all of our goal. It’s a buildup. Every day is a grind. There’s going to be some ups and some downs, but as long as we’ve got our eyes on the bigger prize, we’ll be all good."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 4, 2017
Through 22 games, James Harden is leading the league in points and assists, with 31.7 and 9.7, respectively, to go along with 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 35.9 minutes. Even with the addition of Chris Paul to the Rockets, the two stars are proving that they can co-exist on the floor, and compliment each other’s games.
The title may be the priority of Harden this year, but at this pace the MVP Award could be the icing on the cake, especially if he leads the Rockets to the promised land. James Harden’s name is expected to be part of the MVP conversations throughout the season, and this could finally be the year he’ll win it.