X

Stephen Curry Picks James Harden over Russell Westbrook for NBA MVP

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19: James Harden #13 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Western Conference celebrate during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2017 All-Star Weekend at the Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 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 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The race for the NBA's Most Valuable Player award is as heated as ever this season, but the two-time defending winner has announced his preference.

When asked by Dan Patrick whom he would pick, not counting Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry chose James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

"You kind of have to reward the better team, I would think, record-wise," Curry said (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). "That's just kind of going in the history of the MVP award. So, I think James will probably edge him out just off of that."

Russell Westbrook is both leading the NBA in scoring and averaging a triple-double (31.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game), but his Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference. Harden's Rockets are in third.

Harden's numbers are impressive as well at 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and an NBA-best 11.2 assists per game.

Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James are also top contenders for the trophy thanks to their ability to impact the game in a variety of ways for elite teams.

Curry is aware of how much team performance helps in these awards. He won MVP in 2014-15 when the Warriors had the best record in the NBA and then became the first-ever unanimous winner in 2015-16 while leading Golden State to 73 wins.

The Warriors have fallen off that pace this year, and since Kevin Durant played a big role with Golden State before getting hurt, it appears unlikely Curry wins the award for a third straight time.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.