Bucking Broncho: Harden Euro Steps Towards MVP
Houston Rockets guard James Harden reacts after making a play during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. The Rockets won 115-111. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
America has had a secret group of men, who have excelled at their craft, that all had one thing in common: their beards. Every profession has had an iconic bearded man (or men) who cement their legacy. Beards have banded these men together through the testament of time. ZZ Top put their staple on rock music with La Grange, Zach Galifianakis changed comedy forever with The Hangover, Daniel Bryan changed the landscape of the WWE with the ‘Yes Movement’ and President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery. These great men accomplished great feats in their profession, but most importantly they did it while having beards.
The secret group will have to add one more member to the club after this season and that is James Harden. Houston Rockets’ star shooting guard is the perfect marriage of America’s two favorite things: professional sports and beards. Harden’s play this season has propelled his legacy past somebody who is famous for their beard, but someone who is great while having a beard.
Mike D’Antoni on James Harden: “He’s the best offensive player I’ve ever seen” (via @kerryeggers) https://t.co/Wgip0Oq4Fn pic.twitter.com/SPOzTOjuOM
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) March 21, 2018
For the past two seasons, Harden’s fate has looked like it would be like Shooter McGavin’s and never get his green jacket (MVP award). But this year is different for him, with no Happy Gilmore in sight to take the award from him. The past two seasons, Harden has came in second for the MVP award, behind Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, but this year is different with most already handing him the award.
“The 2018 NBA MVP conversation is over,” ESPN journalist Rachel Nichols said.
If Harden wins the award, he would be the first player ever to win both Sixth Man of the Year and MVP. His play this season has led the Houston Rockets to the best record in the NBA at 60-14, which is the most wins in franchise history. He also leads the league with 30.9 points per game and is the first player this season to score over 2,000 points.
On top of leading the team in points, Harden gets his teammates involved with his team high 8.6 assists. He has had four games this season where he scored over 50 points, while leading the team in assists.
James Harden makes as good of an argument as Kevin Durant as the second-best player in the world.@getnickwright explains pic.twitter.com/LyAVjYZ0El
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 21, 2018
Harden hasn’t just been one of the best players statistically this season, but has also been a human highlight reel. While on the court, Harden has shown how much fun he is having playing basketball and making it look easy at the same time.
James Harden enjoying a pregame dance session before tonight’s @NBATV action against the @PelicansNBA! pic.twitter.com/clWMSR8a5d
— NBA (@NBA) March 25, 2018
He has the perfect resume to win the MVP award, his team has the best record, he leads the league in points and has the most memorable plays of the season.
Harden may have won the MVP this season and already cemented his name into the beard hall of fame, but if he keeps his play up, he will join a more exclusive hall of fame when his career is all said and done.