clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 NBA Awards: Russell Westbrook wins MVP award over James Harden

New, comments

Triple-doubles mean more then wins.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016-17 NBA MVP award came down to three players: Rockets guard James Harden, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, and Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard.

Each had their own case, Harden averaged career highs in points (29.1), rebounds (8.1), and assists (11.2). Westbrook set the single-season record for triple-doubles with 42. Leonard was by far the best player on a 61-21 Spurs team.

But the triple-double record was too much for the MVP voters to overlook, Westbrook was named the 2016-17 NBA MVP.

Westbrook, 28, averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists in 81 games this past season. But Westbrook’s season ended in the first round against the Houston Rockets. Houston finished the Thunder in five games.

The selection of Westbrook confirms the reporting of TDS senior writer Max Croes, who collected all of the public MVP votes back at the start of May — creating a clear picture of James Harden finishing second for the award.