James Harden is the KIA MVP

The league’s premier award went to James Harden, the top scorer in the NBA for the league’s top regular-season team.

The star didn’t prepare a speech when he did. Instead, he gave a short, off-the-cuff statement, bringing his mother on stage and telling the audience that he didn’t want to get too emotional. Asked why he did things this way, Harden referred to this time last year.

“I didn’t see the difference between this year and last year,” he said.

We don’t have to re-litigate the 2017 MVP race in great detail. Essentially, Westbrook won the award because of his extraordinary individual accomplishments: He averaged a triple-double for the first time since Oscar Robertson and had a number of memorable clutch performances. Harden made his teammates better in a way that Westbrook didn’t, though, and he put up incredible numbers in his own right.

Other winners were;

Coach of the year Dwane Casey, Toronto Raptors

Most Improved Player Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Life Achievement award Oscar Robertson.

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