Former NBA player Richard Jefferson claimed Houston Rockets guard James Harden is unworthy of being in the MVP conversation. The recently retired swingman quickly traded his NBA future for a mic, recently delivering his hot take as a guest on ESPN's First Take and doling out his reasoning after lauding Giannis Antetokounmpo's case for the Most Valuable Player award:

“Harden is an amazing player, his numbers are amazing. But right now, people will typically have conversations about the best player on the best team has a chance at the MVP,” said Jefferson. “And that's who we're talking about when we're talking about Giannis, that's who we're talking about when we're talking about Kawhi Leonard.

“James Harden … They are fighting to get into the playoffs now, the reigning MVP is fighting to get into the playoffs. So to see his numbers be as great as they are, we know he can do that, but MVP means Most Valuable Player, typically on a good team.”

Harden faced this same predicament losing twice to Stephen Curry in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, before facing a rare situation with Russell Westbrook challenging one of the basketball gods in Oscar Robertson, making history by becoming the first player in 55 years to average a triple-double for a season.

The Rockets' last campaign was the undeniable avenue for Harden to get the award, reaching 65 wins by season's end and posting MVP-worthy numbers to make him the surefire winner of the award.

Houston has managed to slip into fourth place in the West, climbing up 10 spots after being at one point penultimate in the conference. But there are still plenty of games left for The Beard to prove he's doing more than posting gaudy numbers, but leading his team to championship contention.