The NBA’s ongoing discussion over its MVP award has lead headlines for the majority of the season. The field has seemingly been narrowed down to the top four candidates in Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and LeBron James. Official ballots were due last Friday, but the award will not be announced until the offseason. These factors have not stopped the campaigns of one (Houston Rocket general manager) Daryl Morey, however.
All throughout the season, Morey has been on a personal mission to persuade voters that James Harden, not Russ, is the true MVP. A quick Google search of “daryl morey russell westbrook” will showcase these efforts. Today’s thinly-veiled exchange on Twitter captures at least some of Morey’s feelings about presumed front-runner for the award, Russell Westbrook:
@bull50 sounds like some other superstars…— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) April 19, 2017
One of the main reasons cited for Westbrook’s candidacy is his exorbitant amount of triple doubles, as he finished with 42, breaking Oscar Robertson’s longstanding single-season record. Morey is postulating whether or not the Thunder team just lets Russ get all of these rebounds. It’s a fair question, but you might wonder if now is a good time to ask it.
ICYMI, the Thunder are playing against Morey’s Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. Game One delivered a pretty subpar Westbrook game, and Morey might just be waking up OKC’s sleeping giant. The Rockets already added some fuel to the fire by a jumbotron comparison the MVP-candidate’s game to his matchup in Rockets point guard/defensive mega-irritant Patrick Beverley (who probably did outplayed Russ).
They just went there. pic.twitter.com/BfA0GCZyG8— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) April 17, 2017
In addition to his ability to play with an incomprehensible amount of energy, Westbrook now has even more fuel to work with in tonight’s game. Only time will tell if Morey’s shots went unnoticed or if they in some way contributed to a Russ mega-game. My vote is on the latter; look for Russ to bounce back and then some. Game Two of the series is tonight at 8 pm in Houston.
Junior Reporter, General NBA Reporter
I might be in the minority, but I do believe Harden should win MVP over Russ. However, the constant campaigning up and down the organization might have turned some voters off.