James Harden is convinced the media have a big impact on the MVP race and how they are the ones who are locked in on certain candidates completely changing the narrative of the race. In a recent interview for the GQ Magazine, Harden showed he is still bothered to a certain degree he didn't win the MVP award after having a historic season.
Even though he was the MVP a season prior to the last one, Harden elevated his game even more and displayed a dominance rarely seen in the NBA. Harden finished the season averaging over 36 points per game which is after Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan the best scoring season anyone ever had. His logic is that he was able to take the Houston Rockets from a 14-seed at one point of the season to a four-seed in a very competitive western conference which a valid point he made.
On top of that, Harden was incredibly consistent leading the injury struggling Rockets in games where he was pretty much-doing everything he can to secure a win. He had several 50 and 60-point games but felt the media already had their MVP candidates and pretty much took for granted all the things Harden did on the hardwood every night.
"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 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."