Harden thinks the media was playing favorites.
Last season in the NBA was a coming-out party of sorts for Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. Everyone knew Giannis was a great player but last season he was able to elevate his game to a point where the Bucks had the best record in the regular season. He was neck and neck with James Harden all season for the MVP race and in the end, the Bucks star was able to scoop up the award. Harden and the Houston Rockets didn't take too kindly to this decision and at times, have shown just how salty they are about it.
In a new interview with GQ, Harden spoke about his MVP snub and how it didn't make sense for him not to win it. After all, Harden averaged 36.1 points per game and led the league in scoring. While this may be the case, Giannis did more with his team, especially considering he didn't have a clear second star like Chris Paul.
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“But they [the media] for sure got some teams they locked in on. We all know. That’s just what it is. You can’t tell me that a guy whose team was a 14-seed at one point last year, and ended up a four-seed with everything that was going on—so many injuries—and who went on a 32-game 30-point streak, eight 50-point games, two 60-point games in one season…and all the talk was about [Giannis Antetokounmpo]? There’s no way. I just had to look at what I could do to get better for next year. You can’t pout or be mad, and the kid had an unbelievable season, so did his team. But the things I was putting up were legendary. You going to look back in 10, 15 years from now and be like, is that really true? Did that really happen? That’s some stuff they were doing back when Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] and all those other guys were playing. But I’m happy. We have a team goal of winning a championship, and I’m ready to get going now.”
It will be interesting to see if Harden is able to continue his offensive success as now, he will have to play with a ball-dominant player like Russell Westbrook. Regardless, both Harden and Giannis will continue to provide us with a steady stream of highlight-reel plays come October.