Houston Rockets Campaign for MVP Votes for Both Dwight Howard and James Harden

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: Dwight Howard and James Harden of the Western Conference All-Stars laugh during NBA All-Star Practice at Sprint Arena as part of 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Few NBA teams have a duo of stars as talented as Dwight Howard and James Harden of the Houston Rockets, and most have only one potential MVP candidate.

Toward the end of every season, clubs are usually imploring the media to vote for their top player as MVP, but the Rockets couldn't make up their minds.

Both Howard and Harden are a long shot to win the award, but they're both in the conversation. Harden is posting 25.3 points and 5.8 assists per game, and Howard is notching 18.5 points and 12.3 rebounds. Howard has finished as high as second in MVP voting in the past (2011), while Harden finished eighth in 2013.

Although it might defeat the meaning of the term "Most Valuable," Houston decided each star is worthy of consideration in 2014. As such, it's put together creative publicity kits for the media to enjoy.

The Superman Clark Kent briefcase, complete with red cape, is a nice touch for Howard:

Meanwhile, Harden's promotion revolved around his wildly famous facial hair. Can you blame the Rockets for putting together a grooming kit to make a pitch on behalf of the bearded star?

Although the gifts aren't likely to sway the minds of any voters, I'm sure it was a fun stunt to put together, and it undoubtedly got a chuckle out of the players and media.

Late-season award promotion has become highly entertaining in recent years, and with the prevalence of social media, clubs can put together robust campaigns.

And the publicity isn't confined to MVP voting, as some teams prop up their players for other awards. For example, the Charlotte Bobcats are trying to sell Al Jefferson as an All-NBA first-team selection, and the Dallas Mavericks are pushing for Vince Carter as Sixth Man of the Year.

It's a fun way for franchises to build positive energy for their fanbases, and it's a way of saying "thank you" to the players for their brilliant seasons.

It begs the question: Should the Miami Heat send out hair-restoration kits in honor of LeBron James' hairline?


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