Russell Westbrook has won the 2017 NBA MVP award over James Harden. For months, NBA fans had been waiting to find out whether Russell Westbrook or James Harden won the NBA MVP award. The league announced the winner during the NBA Awards show, but saved the announcement for the final award of the night like the Oscars do with the Best Picture Award.
SB Nation’s The Dream Shake blog reached out to as many MVP voters as possible. Their efforts allowed them to get results from 72 of the 100 voters. Of the people polled, Westbrook received 48 first-place votes, while Harden received 18 first-place votes. Based on the results, SB Nation projected Westbrook would win the 2017 NBA MVP award. It turns out the projections were correct.
Even if the 28 voters who had undisclosed votes all voted for Harden, he would still come up short in the tally. LeBron James received one vote while Kawhi Leonard earned five first-place votes. Click here to see the full spreadsheet of the SB Nation MVP tracker results.
According to OddsShark, the Vegas odds also favored Westbrook. The oddsmakers had Westbrook as a massive -5000 favorite. Harden was second with +600 while Leonard was a distant third at +3300. Both Westbrook and Harden were in attendance at the NBA Awards 2017.
The Westbrook-Harden race created quite the debate. Westbrook became the first player in over fifty years to average a triple-double in a season ala Oscar Robertson. Harden did not have quite the same numbers, but pushed his team to 55 wins and the No. 3 seed in the West. Check out Heavy’s detailed breakdown of both sides of the MVP argument.
It turns out the voters favored Westbrook’s historic season over Harden’s team-friendly performance. Fans can look forward to these two matching up on the court next season.