Millennials these days, am I right? They were born in the 90s and came of age during the social media revolution, and as a byproduct of that, modesty and humility aren’t typically among their many virtues. On the contrary, they’re often shamelessly self-congratulatory, not to mention they’ve practically perfected the delicate art of the humblebrag. Many modern NBA players are all this and more, but in particular, several of them seem to thoroughly enjoy bickering with one another via both social media and traditional media.
Just this past week, three of the MVP front-runners haven’t been shy about weighing in on who they think deserves to win the award, i.e. themselves, naturally. To be fair, the media is at least partially to blame here. Is it really necessary to ask the question to begin with? Do reporters actually expect any of them to choose someone other than themselves?
LeBron James certainly made no bones about the fact that he would indeed pick himself for MVP if he could when he was asked about it earlier this week. James Harden, unsurprisingly, said the same thing when he told Fran Blinebury of NBA.com that he believes he currently has the edge over both LeBron and Steph Curry given how he’s almost single-handedly piloted an injury-depleted Rockets team through the treacherous Western Conference gauntlet. The subtext, as always, with Harden’s rationale is that he continues to believe he’s surrounded by scrubs and therefore deserves even more credit.
Piggybacking on that comment, Curry – who solidified his case as MVP front-runner last night by dropping 45 points and dishing out 10 assists to give Golden State a big win over the Portland Trailblazers and in the process bested his own record for most three-pointers made in a single NBA season – has now joined the melee after Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com told him about Harden’s comment.
“Ahh . . . that might have been a little aggressive,” Curry Said.
For whatever reason, active campaigning for awards has become increasingly popular this season. Rockets GM Dork Elvis basically echoed Harden’s sentiment that Houston’s roster is filled with a bunch of expendable pawns when he gave him his MVP endorsement, and lobbying for DeAndre Jordan for Defensive Player of the Year has become one of Doc Rivers’s favorite pastimes this season. Even Steve Kerr chimed in about Curry following the Warriors’ win Thursday.
“Nothing left to say, except he’s the MVP. He never talks about it, but you better believe he wants it.”
Being confident and supporting your players and teammates is all fine and good, but it’d also be nice if everyone took a note from the other MVP candidate Russell Westbrook – the only one who’s had the dignity to remain mum on the topic – and just kept their mouths shut, let their game do the talking, and let the chips fall where they may.