James Harden told reporters he feels he's done enough to win that KIA. The Rockets star said he feels the's got nothing left to prove when it comes to the MVP Award.
Harden being MVP:"I think I’ve done enough(to win)but that’s not my main focus.” Says he is worried more about his team being playoff-ready— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) April 10, 2015
That's a simpler and more reserved take than he gave to NBA.com this week, though. Here's what he said earlier this week which was a little more implicit.
"I feel as though I am the MVP," Harden said. "I think the MVP is the most valuable player to your team. Obviously you have to be winning and be one of the top teams in this league and we are.
"I'm not taking credit away from anybody else in the league. But I've been consistent all year. I've just been doing the right things to put my team in situations to win, considering all of the different circumstances we've had to deal with."
"I'm looking at all those things put together," Harden said. "Like I said, not taking away from Steph or that team. It's an unbelievable season that they're having. But we're having a pretty good season as well with all the injuries and all that we've been going through this season.
"Look, I understand that people can go either way with it. But for the most valuable player, I think I would have the edge."
Let's check in with Steph Curry for the all-too-predictable response?
Informed of Harden's comments after leading the Warriors to a 116-105 win over the Blazers, Curry merely shrugged as he strolled toward the trainer's room.
"Ahh ... that might have been a little aggressive," the point guard told CSN Bay Area.
Harden extrapolates, Curry provides stinging response while laughing the discussion off and seeming above it. This is the difference in the two's approach to the award. No matter how much Curry wants it, he's not going to say he does. He will, however, make it clear that no one should be considered well ahead of him. The Rockets, meanwhile, really want Harden to win.
I'm not entirely sure why. What do the Rockets accomplish with the award, if the Rockets can't make a playoff run? Is it part of a plot to make Houston the most attractive location to stars, by proving they'll always be supported?
But Harden's not wrong. He's proven worthy of the award. The question is whether Curry has done more. Curry's coach, Steve Kerr, thinks he has, and finally cracked after Curry's 45-point explosion vs. the Blazers on Thursday night.
"There's nothing left to say. Except that he's the MVP."
Kerr was asked, "That counts as campaigning?"
A grin spread across the coach's face. "Yes." Curry was incendiary enough to melt any pretenses.
No matter who winds up winning, the other side will feel like they got screwed. That's how close this is, how great the players have been, how amazing this season has been the whole way through. What a year.