Admin

Posted by

Beth Harris (AP) Beth Harris (AP)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Share

Harden named NBA MVP

Rate this item
(0 votes)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Third time was the charm for James Harden.

The Houston Rockets star was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player after twice being runner-up, beating out four-time winner LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Pelicans at the NBA Awards on Monday night.

Harden joined Michael Jordan as the only players to average at least 20 points, eight assists, five rebounds and 1.7 steals in a season.

He led the league in scoring, 3-pointers and 50-point games with four while helping the Rockets to an NBA-leading 65 wins.

“The last four years have been like knocking on the door, knocking on the door. Now the moment is finally here,” Harden said backstage. “Just every single year you try to come back and be better than you were the year before, and just to be holding that trophy finally, it means a lot.”

James didn’t attend the show in Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport amid frenzied speculation about his future. He has until Friday to tell the Cavaliers if he will pick up his $35.6 million option for next season or opt for free agency.

Harden, who is from Los Angeles, led his mother on stage before he accepted the trophy from Commissioner Adam Silver.

“I’m not going to get emotional,” he said from behind dark sunglasses. “She’s my backbone in good times and bad times.”

Harden received a total of 965 points and 86 first-place votes. James finished second with 738 points and 15 first-place votes, while Davis was third with 445 points and no first-place votes.

Harden didn’t prepare a speech.

“I felt like last year I should have won as well, so I didn’t see a difference between last year and this year,” he said backstage. “If I won it, then I was going to go off the top and try to show my appreciation to everybody helping me along the way.”

In other awards, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers won Rookie of the Year, beating out Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

The guard averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, joining Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to post those numbers in a season.

Simmons helped Philadelphia to a 52-30 record, including ending the season with a 16-game winning streak.

Guard Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers earned Most Improved Player.

He averaged 23.1 points in his first season with the Pacers while nabbing his first All-Star berth. He also led the league in steals for the first time.

Defensive Player of the Year went to center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, while Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers took Sixth Man honors. Houston’s Daryl Morey was the pick for Executive of the year and Dwane Casey was named Coach of the Year for his season with the Raptors.

Advertisements

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine