Steph Curry appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Monday and was pressed to answer a difficult question by the host. If you have a vote for MVP, will you go for James Harden or Russell Westbrook?
Curry went for Harden and when Westbrook was asked for his opinion about Curry’s choice, he apparently doesn’t care about it that much.
Earlier this week Steph Curry said James Harden should win the MVP over Russell Westbrook. Today RW responds: “who’s he?” pic.twitter.com/kqeiWJiMrC
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) March 16, 2017
Curry is, of course, the reigning two-time MVP — among other things — a fact of which Westbrook is almost certainly aware. However, the Thunder guard is locked in what many view as a two-man race for this year’s award with Harden, although LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard also deserve inclusion in that field, and Westbrook’s competitive instincts kicked in when asked about Curry’s take.
Westbrook’s edge in the race is that he has been racking up triple-doubles for the Thunder at a furious rate (almost literally, given his intense demeanor). With averages of 31.8 points, which leads the NBA, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists, he is on pace to become the first NBA player to average a triple-double over a season since Oscar Robertson in 1962.
Westbrook also has Oklahoma City at 38-29 and in sixth place in the Western Conference despite the offseason loss of Kevin Durant, which speaks well of his ability to lead his team to success. That’s also Harden’s best MVP attribute, as he has the Rockets at a surprising 47-21 and third place in the West despite a supporting cast arguably more nondescript than Westbrook’s, one that features the likes of Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley and Ryan Anderson as major contributors. It doesn’t hurt that Harden is leading the league in assists, at 11.3 per game, to go with averages of 28.9 points and 8.0 rebounds.
At this point, it’s obviously a coin toss between the former OKC teammates but Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps made an informal survey on the MVP discussion and the returns were encouraging for the Rockets superstar. Harden finished with 910 points, well ahead of Westbrook (768), Leonard (658) and James (600), with the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas (94) coming in a distant fifth, ahead of the Wizards’ John Wall (74) and Durant (60).