James Harden believes a media narrative was behind Giannis Antetokounmpo beating him to being named NBA MVP for 2018-19.
Rockets guard and 2018 MVP Harden averaged 36.1 factors within the common season – essentially the most since Michael Jordan tallied 37.1 in 1986-87 – and went on a shocking run of 32 consecutive 30-point video games.
Nevertheless, Antetokounmpo was the perfect participant for the Bucks, who completed the common season with the perfect report within the NBA. He averaged 27.7 factors, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.three steals per sport.
“[It was] one for the books. Even after I’m gone, they’ll discuss it,” Harden informed 97.9 The Field of his season
“It is out of my management. As soon as the media, they create a story about any person from the start of the yr, I believe they simply take that narrative and simply run with it all the yr,” Harden informed 97.9 The Field. “I do not need to get into particulars. All I can do is management what I can do, and I went on the market and did what I used to be purported to do at a excessive stage. There’s just a few different seasons that anyone has ever completed that earlier than.
“Folks had been tuned in to what number of factors I used to be going to attain the subsequent sport. It was a factor. However I can not management that. The one factor I can management is coming again subsequent yr and being higher than I used to be, and successful a championship.”
Earlier this offseason, the Rockets dealt Chris Paul to the Thunder so as to add 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, and Harden is keen to get going.
“I am excited. Clearly, Chris did an unbelievable job the 2 years that he was right here. He is helped our group and crew an amazing quantity. However we’ve got many of the similar core guys coming again, after which we add Russ,” he mentioned. “Everyone knows how Russ performs, and he is even a higher man off the court docket. It is tough taking part in in opposition to him, simply because he performs with that aggression. He performs with that anger. However it is going to be higher to have him on our crew now.
“Now we have him and PJ [Tucker] … loopy collectively. We have lots of guys who’re returning and you then add Russ, it is one thing particular.”
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On potential opponents in subsequent yr’s playoffs, Harden added: “It do not even matter as a result of we concentrate on ourselves. We have a lot expertise in that locker room, and our group is so nice.
“We do not take note of different groups. We simply concentrate on what we management, our crew, and being the perfect we might be. Whoever we face, let’s get it on.”