Justin Allen, who trains James Harden in Houston during the offseason, believes the former Rockets superstar deserves at least 3-4 MVPs.
James Harden and Kevin Durant are 2 of the unluckiest players in the NBA today, as far as accolades go. KD ended up finishing 2nd to LeBron in the MVP race in 3 separate seasons before a breakthrough.
Harden, meanwhile, has finished 2nd himself thrice – once each to Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Giannis. He is the only player to average 36 points per game or higher in the 21st century, doing so in 2018-19.
He lost an MVP title once for being a lower seed, the second time because of the concept of round numbers and the 3rd time again because he was a lower seed.
He’s only been on one top-seeded team his whole career thus far. But you can expect that to change in the upcoming NBA season. And if Harden stays fit and delivers at his level for 82 games next year, it’ll take historic play from other contenders to pip him a fourth time.
“James Harden has been snubbed for MVP at least 3 times”: Justin Allen
Clutch Points reports a statement from Justin Allen regarding Harden’s MVP-caliber play over the past 7 seasons or so. According to Allen, who trains The Beard during the NBA offseason:
“I think he’s been robbed in about three of them. I think he should be a three- or four-time MVP for sure.”
MVP debates have already been done to death every year. Even Harden’s lone MVP win in the 2017-18 season was considered controversial by some, who’d voted for LeBron James that year.
At the end of the day, we know that the votes will be cast by over 100 media members. The outlandish feelings or inherent biases of a couple of voters can tip the race either way.
Harden’s legacy in basketball is already secure, irrespective of how haters might want to characterize his career. This man is one of only 3 players currently in the NBA to have led the league both in assists and in scoring (Westbrook and LeBron are the other two).