James Harden has played bridesmaid to Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook when the two won their respective Most Valuable Player award. This season, however, the Houston Rockets superstar appears to be on the brink of finally winning one for himself.
But before the actual award becomes a reality, Harden gets the respect from his peers validated by virtue of winning the National Basketball Players Association's MVP award.
The Rockets went full throttle in the regular season, thanks to the arrival of Chris Paul. But as huge as the point guard elite's impact has been, Harden lifted himself to another level with his excellent play that is only boosted by Houston's league-leading 65-17 record.
Harden's claim to the league's top individual award this season is being threatened by the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James. But the latter's case may be dampened by his team's inconsistent play in the regular season.
Throughout 72 games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil normed averages of 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game on 44 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from long distance.
His season-long brilliance is, without a doubt, best captured by his performance back in January against the Orlando Magic wherein he made history for recording the NBA's first 60-point triple-double. Against the hapless Orlando defense, Harden scored 60 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 11 assists.