James Harden has fallen just shy of the NBA MVP award twice in the previous three seasons, finishing runner-up to Stephen Curry in 2015 and second to Russell Westbrook’s triple-double-fueled campaign in 2017.
But if the results of a recent Washington Post poll are to be believed, the Beard nearly has first MVP trophy in the bag.
Polling 100 media members—who, the paper noted, aren’t the panel of 100 media members who’ll actually vote on the award—the voters were damn-near unanimous: Harden received 91 of 100 first-place votes.
When accounting for voting points (voters were given five votes, weighted by ranking), the race got even more lopsided, with Harden taking 971 out of a possible 1,000 points.
Basketball Reference’s MVP Award Tracker apparently agrees, giving the Houston Rockets star a 71.8 percent chance of locking up the honor.
Hilariously, Kyrie Irving finished sixth in the Post’s poll despite receiving the second-most first-place votes, with three. Gee, I wonder which totally-not-biased media market those voters came from.
After finishing second in the Post’s December poll, LeBron James dropped behind second-place Stephen Curry (466 points) and third-place Kevin Durant (318) following a miserable January for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Giannis Antetokounmpo slid in at No. 5.
The Associated Press’ Brian Mahoney left LeBron off his five-man ballot altogether.
“He’s the best player, but I honestly don’t think he’s an MVP right now,” Mahoney told the Post. “His team is underachieving and fractured, and he’s the guy who’s supposed to fix that.”
Harden had better stay healthy and maintain his current play, because on the heels of a total overhaul of the Cavaliers roster at the trade deadline, LeBron appears ready to re-insert himself into the race.