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Why Stephen Curry, not James Harden, is this year’s NBA MVP

James Harden may lead the NBA in scoring, but Golden State’s baby-faced assassin is this year’s Most Valuable Player – and it shouldn’t even be close

The rare MBA in the NBA, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey not only embraces inflammatory statements, he offers them up with gusto. The inventor of the revered MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and driving force behind the new wave of analytical player evaluation, Morey is a data-driven GM and an engaging Twitter presence whose vibrant personality has an irreverent flair. He’s candid enough to compare being an NBA general manager to being a gynecologist (“You never get tired of it”) and publicly deride prominent media personalities for questioning his philosophies (see: Barkley, Charles). Last week, perhaps for kicks, he claimed his Rockets can beat any team in a seven-game series.

So when Morey said “If James Harden weren’t on our team, we’d be nowhere,” as the primary reason his hirsute star player should be named Most Valuable Player, it wasn’t on the greatest hits of Morey-isms. His simplistic reasoning was, however, quite unlike Daryl Morey. Inherent bias aside, Morey has staked his reputation as one of the game’s most progressive general managers because of his aggressive roster reconstructions and acute data crunching. Claiming Harden should win MVP for being the primary arbiter for his team’s 50 wins wasn’t just trivializing the ethos of the award, it was an indirect indictment of himself.

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