One of the prevailing storylines throughout this season has been the exciting race for NBA MVP. While many names have been mentioned such as Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and Isaiah Thomas, for most, the race comes down to two people: James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
With Westbrook on pace to become the second person ever to average a triple-double in a season, and Harden elevating his game to unimaginable heights under new coach Mike D’Antoni, fans, media members, and former players have gone back and forth over who should walk away with the award.
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson recently chimed in on the conversation, noting that both guys deserve it and he’s going to be disappointed for whoever doesn’t receive it, via Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston:
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 4, 2017
Johnson shares the mindset of many people these days in that it is tough to decide who is more deserving between the two. Even Kobe Bryant suggested that there could be co-MVPs for the first time in NBA history.
In addition to averaging a triple-double this season, Westbrook is also set to break Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles in a season. He has kept the Thunder in the playoffs despite losing superstar Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors last summer.
Harden meanwhile is nearly averaging a triple-double himself and has turned the Houston Rockets into a legitimate championship contender. In fact, the Rockets team success could ultimately be the deciding factor to MVP voters.
Johnson, a former three-time MVP himself, understands what it takes to get to that level which may contribute to his feelings over one of them not being able to win the award. In the meantime, Magic remains hard at work trying to find the Lakers their next MVP candidate, hopefully, sooner than later.