James Harden lives in the shadow of his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. However, it’s clear that his talent is so good that it’s now impossible to ignore. After taking over the fourth and final game of the team’s first round sweep of the Dallas Mavericks, it was a fitting time to also announce that Harden had handily won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.
It’s an award that is really a “no-brainer” according to Trey Kirby from The Basketball Jones. He writes:
Justifying this vote is pointless, since he’s been one of the best players in the league this season, regardless of rotation quirks. Harden led all bench players in scoring and was second to Manu Ginobili in PER, while playing nearly twice as many games as his Argentinean likeness. He’s, at worst, the third-best player on the Western Conference’s second-best team and he’s often their best player. He’s got the best beard in the league even though his mom wants him to shave. He might be dating Trina. It’s been a good year. So yeah, James Harden is this season’s Sixth Man of the Year. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Some things are impossible to mess up.