Kamla: Harden Deserves MVP Over Giannis

The NBA MVP debate is a two-horse race between James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Rick Kamla believes there’s a clear winner

April 09, 2019 - 10:40 am
James Harden Houston Rockets NBA MVP

USA Today Images


The NBA MVP debate is a two-horse race between James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Rick Kamla thinks there’s a clear winner.

“There’s a lot of media members and a lot of fans who hate on James Harden, (but) the guy is doing Wilt Chamberlain stuff,” the NBA TV and NBA Radio host said on Ferrall on the Bench. “James Harden is (averaging) 36 a game. He took his team from 14th in the West, and if things go right the next couple of nights, they’re going to be second in the West. Why? because James Harden put the team on his back. Capela was hurt, Paul was hurt, Gordon’s been hurt – they’ve all been hurt. James Harden has been there killing it.”

So has Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.5 blocks for the Bucks (60-21), who have the best record in the NBA.

“I love Giannis,” Kamla said. “I think it’s a great debate. I will not be pissed if Giannis wins it and James Harden doesn’t, but I would cast my vote for James Harden. Think about the 50-point games. He has hit 61 points twice this year. He’s had 50-point triple-doubles. It’s absolutely magnificent. The streak of 30-point games – only Wilt Chamberlain has had more.

“(With Harden), I think a lot of people hate on the style and they forget about the end result,” Kamla continued. “Your job as James Harden is to put the damn ball in the hoop. Nobody is better in the league at doing that. You have to go back to the Kobe’s and the Michael Jordan’s to think about guys who have even been on this level of putting the ball in the hole. So he’s my MVP.”

While Kamla thinks Harden should win MVP, he thinks the Bucks have a better chance of beating the Warriors (56-24) in the playoffs.

“I think Houston could win two or three games off Golden State, (but) I don’t think they’re going to beat Golden State,” Kamla said. “The Bucks and the Raptors, to me, present absolutely a bigger threat to the Warriors than any team in the West.”

That includes Denver (53-27) and Oklahoma City (47-33).

“I like OKC a lot,” Kamla said. “From the two superstars to the way they defend to Jerami Grant, Markieff Morris, Steven Adams – they’ve got bigs. To me, they’re built for the playoffs, and they were awesome until the All-Star break. They kind of hit a lull. I think they’re a little bit bored. Obviously they clinched the playoffs a million years ago, and they’ve been going through some troubles. Paul George hasn’t been perfectly 100 percent, but to me, they’re built for the playoffs. They’re going to be a very, very tough out for whoever they play.”

Click below to listen to Kamla’s interview in its entirety.