Russell Westbrook is the Most Valuable Player of the 2016-17 NBA season and anybody who thinks otherwise is biased, whether they want to admit it or not.
The James in Cleveland and the James in Houston put on shows this season that would have captured the award a few years ago, but, this isn’t a few years ago and it’s Westbrook’s time to accept the honor.
Sure, LeBron is the heartbeat of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets need Harden like they need water, but, without Westbrook, Oklahoma City would be nothing at all.
Let’s forget about the number of triple-doubles that he has had, although that is astonishing, and let’s think about the fact that he has averaged a triple-double, which, in other words, means that, on an average night, he gets at least ten points, ten rebounds, and ten assists.
That’s consistency at its best. That’s almost so good that people are unable to fathom and appreciate it. But, ignore the numbers for a minute and consider the invisible things that he gave Oklahoma City.
He has literally carried the entire Thunder franchise on his back. They were counted out of the playoff hunt when Kevin Durant packed his bags for Golden State, but, he was buying none of that. He knew what he was capable of.
Westbrook rejuvenated the entire fanbase when they thought that the postseason was too far to reach. He gave the franchise a reason to look forward to the possibilities that lie ahead.
The 2016-17 season was also very kind to Harden, Westbrook’s biggest threat in the MVP conversation. When it comes down to it, Oklahoma City’s star is more valuable to his team than Harden is to Houston.
Like Westbrook is, Harden is the lone star on his team, but, the difference is that Harden has players who can shoot the ball, who can rebound, and who can take some pressure off of him. Westbrook doesn’t have any of that. He attracts so much attention that his teammates find themselves in great situations and, even then, they struggle to take advantage of them.
And then, the problem with LeBron is that he could easily win the award at the end of every season. He consistently finds a way to make every player around him better and performs at a high level on both ends of the floor every night.
But the 2016-17 season is Westbrook’s. I don’t know how you can think that he doesn’t deserve to win this. He is the real MVP.