The Golden State Warriors know a thing or two about winning MVPs. Point guard Stephen Curry has won a pair of the awards, while forward Kevin Durant also has an MVP statue lining his trophy case.
So their opinion means a little something extra when it comes to the current MVP race. Nearly every fan, analyst, and writer agrees that James Harden of the Houston Rockets should win this year, which is a little bit of poetic justice for a player who has been the runner-up twice, but has yet to win.
And Curry and Durant completely agree. Speaking with The Athletic, Durant proclaimed the MVP race over. “It’s his turn,” Durant remarked. “Just give it to him. It’s his time to win it.”
Curry, meanwhile, praised numerous players in an interview with CBS Sports, but ultimately landed on Harden as well.
"It is never easy and this year will be more of the same."@StephenCurry30 sits down with @sportsreiter to talk about the NBA Playoffs on Reiter's Block. Catch the rest of the show on CBS Sports HQ. https://t.co/fFEpW53Xlg pic.twitter.com/NTVmsQscrj— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 2, 2018
“This year you’ve got James, who’s been leading the charge all year, getting that Houston team playing at a high level,” Curry said, when asked who he would vote for. “He’s taken his game to another level, so it’s been fun to watch until you play against him. I think he’s probably the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the vote, but you’ve got Anthony Davis — LeBron [James] has been playing amazing.”
Curry also made the accurate point that, were it not for injuries, he and Durant would be right in the discussion as well.
Durant, who played with Harden for three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, also offered some insight into how hard his former teammate works. Asked about that Thunder team that is on the verge of being only the second team in NBA history to have three players who would at some point win an MVP (with Russell Westbrook being the third), Durant had this to say:
You got three dudes who really care about basketball. You can’t win no MVP if you don’t care about the game. And when I say care, I mean really put the work in on the craft.
I remember trying to beat Russell to the gym . . . I remember working out in the summer time with James, 6 in the morning, really just getting together to work on our basketball games, work on our skills, wanting to beat the best.
It’s hard, if not borderline impossible, to argue against Harden this year. Between his outstanding performance, the Rockets’ league-leading record, and the injuries that Curry and Durant have faced, it certainly is Harden’s turn.
And it’s always fun to see NBA players sticking up for each other.