Harden finished second in the MVP voting for the third time last season after winning the award in 2017-18.
Rockets star James Harden discussed his second-place finish to Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2018-19 MVP race on Thursday. The seven-time All-Star believes the media’s “narrative” affected the vote as Antetokounmpo won his first-ever MVP.
“Once the media creates a narrative about somebody from the beginning of the year, I think they just take that narrative and run with it the entire year,” Harden said on 97.9 The Box in Houston. “All I can do is control what I can do, and I went out there and did what I was supposed to do at a high level.”
Harden has finished second in the MVP three times, previously losing to Steph Curry in 2014-15 and Russell Westbrook in 2016-17. He won his first MVP in 2017-18 as the Rockets finished with an NBA-best 65 wins.
The two-time reigning scoring champion will play alongside another MVP in 2018-19. Houston acquired Westbrook in July in a trade with the Thunder.
The Rockets finished fourth in the West in 2018-19 at 53–29. They lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.
Harden enters 2019-20 seeking his first career Finals appearance