James Harden: "I Feel Like I Am The MVP."

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(via Basketball Society)

(via Basketball Society)

This season's MVP race has certainly been interesting. With the two leading candidates (LeBron James and Joel Embiid) set to miss weeks, the award is really anybody's to win at this point.

For Nets star James Harden, however, he wasn't shy about declaring himself worthy of winning the award for the second time of his career.

If you go strictly by the numbers, Harden does have a pretty solid case. This season, he's averaging 25.3 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game on 46.3% shooting. The Nets sit second in the East with a 31-15 record. But if you consider who he gets to call his teammates (Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin), and the way he dumped the Rockets organization a few months ago, things become a little more complicated...

Harden is certainly a special player, but it's going to take some time for his reputation to recover from the debacle and controversy that was his exit from the Rockets. Honestly, after that whole charade, one could make the case he doesn't deserve MVP honors, not when guys like Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic are doing what they are doing with their respective teams.

Gotta give Harden credit for his confidence, though.