James Harden is named 2017-2018 NBA MVP

Associated Press

Associated Press

Harden is only the second player in National Basketball Association history to win the MVP and Sixth Man of the Year awards in their career (Bill Walton was the other). The Houston Rockets captain was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in the 2017-2018 season.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis was the third finalist. Harden joined Michael Jordan as the only players to average at least 20 points, eight assists, five rebounds and 1.7 steals in a season.

He was also a finalist for Play of the Year for his spectacular block of Jazz forward Royce O'Neale in March, but the award went to James for his game-winning jump shot at the buzzer against the Minnesota Timberwolves in February.

Harden becomes the third Rocket ever to win the award, joining Moses Malone (1978-79 and 1981-82) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94). He finished fourth in the voting last season.

Rockets fans have to love how Harden ended his speech. The Defensive Player of the Year went to center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

"I want to thank the Clippers organization for giving me an opportunity to be myself", Williams said.

Meanwhile Coach of the Year honors went to Dwane Casey, who was sacked by the Toronto Raptors after they were swept by Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs. Casey beat out Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Jazz coach Quin Snyder for the honor. He was hired as the new coach of the Detroit Pistons, replacing Stan Van Gundy. Many felt Harden should have won both years, but last year's was especially questionable considering how a triple-double narrative overshadowed Harden's individual and team success. Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo received the Sager Strong Award, named for the late Turner Sports broadcaster.

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