USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick breaks down what has become a thrilling MVP race in the NBA.
USA TODAY Sports
Don’t be surprised if NBA players start stumping for themselves ahead of award season.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who again landed atop USA TODAY Sports’ MVP race, made a pitch Tuesday ahead of their game against the Golden State Warriors.
Asked about the fact that he hasn’t missed any of the Rockets’ games this season, and Harden said it should definitely factor into the MVP race.
“Yeah, because you’re not leaving your teammates out there to dry,” he told reporters. “For me, I always worry about having my teammates’ back and always being out there.”
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Harden’s biggest competition for MVP stems from Russell Westbrook, who also hasn’t missed a game this season. Both players are chasing history, and neither seems intent on taking a night off. Westbrook (31.4 ppg) leads the NBA in points. Harden (11.3 apg) leads it in assists. The MVP award may well come down to preference for individual performance vs. team success. The Rockets have all-but locked up…