James Harden Sends Strong Message To His NBA MVP Competition

James Harden, Damian Lillard

Getty James Harden and Damian Lillard during the Nets recent game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is James Harden’s world, and we are all just living in it.

After missing the Nets matchup with the NBA-best Utah Jazz on Wednesday, ‘The Beard’ hugely returned for Brooklyn. Harden registered a stat line of 44 points,14 rebounds, and 8 assists against the Detroit Pistons.

These types of explosions have become a norm for the nine-time All-Star this season as he has placed himself amongst the NBA’s elite once again. For that reason, many experts around the NBA believe that Harden has put himself squarely in the driver’s seat to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

They are not the only ones who think so, Harden himself believes he is the league MVP as well.

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James Harden Says He Is League MVP

“Do I feel like I belong in it? I feel like I am the MVP,” the Nets star said after defeating the Pistons on Friday per ESPN.

“I mean, it’s just that simple. I don’t want to be speaking individually on myself. I am just going to leave it at that.”

In the 31 games that Harden has appeared in for the Nets, he is averaging 25.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 11.5 assists per game. The Nets have a record of 24-7 in that span and have earned themselves the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

“I just go out there every single night and try to give my teammates everything I can bring to the game,” Harden said.

“Numbers are showing it for itself, and we’re winning. That’s all I can say.”

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Many of the League’s Stars Have Been Injured

For much of the NBA Season, the Most Valuable Player race was viewed as a two-man competition between Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and reigning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player LeBron James. Unfortunately, now both are injured and will be out for an extended period.

They are just two out of a multitude of NBA stars who have been out for extended periods this season. Other names include Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and LaMelo Ball. The stars have been missing in action and Harden understands that the NBA has suffered as a result of that.

“It’s sad,” Harden said of the injuries that have plagued the league’s stars via ESPN.

“It’s a massive situation because we have eight, 10, 12 of the best guys that we have in this league that are out with injuries. So, I’m sure the fans — it’s taking some of the excitement away from them, but it’s part of our game.”

Harden was traded to the Nets on January 14 and Brooklyn has been balling ever since. If ‘The Beard’ were to win his second MVP award in 2021, he would be the first player to do so that was traded during the season.

READ NEXT: Hall of Famer Says James Harden ‘Might Be’ Best Player in the World


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