James Harden is one of the best players in the entire world and has been playing at that level for a very long time. During his time with the Houston Rockets, Harden emerged as one of the most gifted offensive players of this generation.
During the 2016-17 NBA season, Harden dominated the league with his offensive prowess. At the 2017 NBA Awards, Harden was widely expected to be competing with Oklahoma City Thunder's Russel Westbrook for the MVP award. The tension to find out the winner was high, but Harden had something else on his mind.
After an electrifying performance from Nicki Minaj on the stage, the camera cut to Harden with a smile plastered on his face and clapping for the performance that Minaj had put on.
James Harden's Incredible 2016-17 Season
As Harden was looking ready to risk it all at the 2017 NBA Awards for Nicki Minaj, he was coming off one of the best seasons of his career up until that point. This was one of the best examples of 'peak Harden', as he dominated for the Houston Rockets as a scorer and facilitator. He came second in the scoring title race by averaging 29.1 points but easily led the league in assists with a whopping 11.2 assists.
Harden became the first player in NBA history this season to both score and assist on 2000 points in a season, such was the level of his offensive domination of the game. He lost the MVP award out to Russell Westbrook's historic triple-double season average, but some still believe this was Harden's award to win that season.
Harden would knock Westbrook out of the playoffs in the first round before losing in the second round to their state rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. He'd go on to achieve greater things in Houston before he left the team in 2021.