The criteria for winning an NBA MVP are obviously a bit murky. Most of the time, it has a lot to do with being the best player on the best team. Other times, it's based more on a specific narrative than anything else.
In 2017, Russell Westbrook won the award, despite OKC being sixth place in the West and a sure-fire early playoff exit. It was, and still is, a controversial pick.
But in a rather interesting twist, Warriors star Draymond green defended Russ' case, going into expletives to explain why Westbrook deserved to win that year:
“If I’m not mistaken, Russell Westbrook won MVP [in 2016-17] and they were the seventh or eighth seed," Draymond said to Sam Amick of The Athletic. "There’s no rule that says you can’t be an eighth seed and win the MVP because Russ has done it.
I had no problem with him winning the MVP because I actually thought he f--king deserved it," Draymond added. "That OKC team he was on was horses--t. Complete horses--t. And he carried that team to the playoffs while going out and averaging a triple-double, completely destroying every team that he played against.
I thought he deserved to be the MVP. Why? Because he was so valuable to that team that he got that team to the playoffs while averaging a triple-double. You’re damn right he deserved to be the MVP."
Of course, the context behind all of this is Green making the case for Steph Curry to win MVP, which he certainly should be in consideration for this season.
What better example to chose than Westbrook's 2017 win? In much the same way as we're seeing Steph do now, the OKC star led a pretty bad team to a respectable standing in the Conference.
And while it's easy to look back now and take that performance for granted, it was no joke at the time. Westbrook was in his ultimate prime, a complete beast, and the Thunder would have likely been a lottery team without him.