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Sixth Man to MVP? Wizards forward Montrezl Harrell shares honest thoughts on getting MVP chants

Montrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell on why he hates the MVP chants

The Washington Wizards are one of the most pleasant surprises in this 2021-22 NBA season. As of writing this, they sport a 10-3 record for the first spot in the Eastern Conference. Take a look at their roster, and you'll see the reason why. They have NBA champions in Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a legitimate superstar in Bradley Beal, potent scorer in Spencer Dinwiddie, and an MVP candidate in Montrezl Harrell.

That isn't just for kicks. In Basketball-Reference's latest MVP tracker, Harrell is currently in fifth place. Interestingly, Wizards fans have been chanting MVP right in Harrell's face for quite some time now. While some NBA players are welcoming about it, the former Sixth Man of the Year isn't quite sure what to feel when Wizards fans start cheering MVP when he's at the free-throw line.

"I hate it. Don't chant it until the second free throw. I swear I hate it. The first one, I start to get into my hеad like, 'Damn, they're chanting MVP, what if I miss?' I'm not gonna lie to you, my brother. I love it, but I hate it," Harrell said, House of Highlights

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Harrell's discomfort with these chants could be attributed to his humility or knowledge of the past, particularly how fans tend to be extra playful with their antics.

As for one, in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals, Golden State Warriors fans chanted MVP for Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith. After all, Smith's now infamous blooper was the main reason why the Warriors took the Game 1 victory.

Whereas MVP chants for Smith were short-lived, Brian Scalabrine almost always heard them when he stepped on the floor. He isn't called the White Mamba for no reason. 

The list goes on. Former NBA players like Robert Sacre of the Los Angeles Lakers, Joel Anthony of the Miami Heat, and journeyman Karl Landry have received the MVP treatment. Former Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova, after a scorching hot performance, received MVP cheers in a post-game interview. Like Harrell, he was a bit embarrassed about it. 

Perhaps Harrell needs to chill for a bit. Those MVP war cries are not mockeries or an act of sarcasm. In the eyes of Wizards fans and analysts, Harrell is an essential piece to the Wizards' success. From an individual standpoint, this might be Harrell's chance to strip off that vastly underappreciated sixth man tag. If everything goes well, Harrell may join the ranks of James Harden and Bill Walton as the only two players in history to win both the Sixth Man of the Year award and MVP. There is no shame in being included in that incredible shortlist. 

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