On Monday night, the National Basketball Association held their annual awards show in Santa Monica, California where they reward those who stood above the rest as the league's best players.
He received the highest individual honor Tuesday at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles, California.
Gobert averaged 13.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game - the latter of which was good enough for third in the league. It bothered him. Harden wanted the recognition he felt he deserved. That was a guarantee given the three finalists: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. Gobert, who turns 26 on Tuesday, missed 26 games during the regular season with multiple injuries, but still anchored a Jazz defense that posted the second-best defensive rating (101.6) in the National Basketball Association last season. All glory to God. "Now the moment is finally here", Harden said backstage. "Huge shout out to the National Basketball Association". Huge shout out to the Rockets, man.
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Those facts were not lost on two-time MVP victor Stephen Curry, as he took to Instagram to wonder if the man who drafted those players for the Thunder, Sam Presti, was getting an MVP award too.
Harden becomes the third Rocket ever to win the award, joining Moses Malone (1978-79 and 1981-82) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94). He added 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game in leading the Rockets to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, where they fell to the eventual champion Warriors in Game 7 of the conference finals.
Harden's award will undoubtedly cause more debate to occur in the coming days due to James' similarly-incredible campaign. "I'll see y'all next year!" Harden was the driving force behind the historical season for the Rockets.