Russell Westbrook made NBA history Sunday night by recording his 42nd triple-double this season. His performance was pretty remarkable to watch, because he not only had another triple-double, but he did so while scoring 50 points, too, including a ridiculous 3 at the buzzer to win the game.
Some would claim it was an MVP-clinching performance, but others aren't so sold. While no one is denying how impressive Westbrook's season is, many believe James Harden should win the coveted award. A big reason is the simple fact Harden's team has done more than Westbrook's.
"I think that's the most important thing. I thought winning is what this is about —period," Harden said Sunday, after recording a triple-double himself. "I'm not going to get in-depth with all that, but I thought winning was the most important thing. If you set your team up in a position to have a chance, at the ultimate goal, that's the most important thing."
Harden's Rockets sit at third in the Western Conference standings with 54 wins while Westbrook's Thunder are sixth with 46. Harden believes winning more games should factor more into the vote than individual performances, which he labeled Westbrook's record.
"It's a huge accomplishment," Harden said of Westbrook's 42nd triple-double. "He's been playing extremely well all season long, it's never been done before, it's a great individual accomplishment, and it's great."
Harden's general manager, Daryl Morey, agrees, as he stated on Twitter earlier this week.
AAU...All-Star game...Draft Lottery...2017 MVP race. Basketball is losing its focus on winning
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) April 8, 2017
Winning obviously is an important factor, but even Harden would acknowledge it's not theonlything. If that's the case, then Steph Curry or LeBron James would be winning this year, not him with his third-place Rockets. But the guard definitely feels like it should be a bigger factor than people are making it.