Full disclosure, I had one in the pipeline. Last week I was going to go full contrarian and hope that somehow - against all odds - Russell Westbrook and James Harden would split the vote and end up as co-MVP's. I know that's considered lukewarm and indecisive, but watching every gasbag become ignited by a heated debate about the integrity of it being a one man award would have been far more entertaining than hearing both sides debate their all-too-repetitive points on each player for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, Russell Westbrook's last week has rendered that unwritten blog unworthy of my time. It's not because I now think he's won the MVP, but because I truly think he's gone out and taken it.
All things being equal - and in terms of value that is very much the case - Russell Westbrook has simply left my jaw dragging on the floor more times this season than James Harden has. I don't know if that's included in advanced analytics, but shit - it's got to count for something right? You can argue that a triple-double is an arbitrary stat because it definitely is, but no one was saying that before one man somehow turned it into his norm. If he's padding stats then he's doing a hell of a job of it, because in the last two games that he's done so he singlehandedly willed his team to victory.
I am a dumb sports fan so I am admittedly more likely to favor the player who is responsible for more oooh's-and-ahhhh's. I just don't know how you can't when that player just knocked a team out of playoff contention by finishing a double digit comeback with a casual 30 foot catch-and-shoot buzzer beater that gave him 50 points on the night that he broke a previously unbreakable record. At the end of the day, the difference between Westbrook's impact and Harden's impact is inconsequential. So yeah, give me the guy that is turning the NBA - at it's most talented - into his own personal MVP campaign one awe-inspiring highlight at a time. If there can only be a single winner then let it be the person that is actively doing extraordinary things and putting up ungodly numbers - seemingly nightly - in an effort to win. James Harden is undoubtedly just as deserving, but James Harden hasn't taken the initiative in forcing the forever stubborn hands of voters the way Westbrook has.