Sometimes, when you know, you just know. No matter how long it took people to recognize the greatness of James Harden, the Houston Rockets guard believed he would be a star from a young age.
On Monday night, at the NBA Awards near his hometown in Los Angeles, the 6-foot-5 Harden made that childhood dream a reality as he won the 2017-18 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award over Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James and New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis.
After signing a four-year contract extension with Houston worth approximately $160 million, Harden averaged a career-best 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists to help the Rockets win 65 games in the regular season and take the eventual-champion Golden State Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals.
Harden is the third Rockets player to win the award in franchise history, joining Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Moses Malone.
It was a sensational campaign, and, yes, a dream come true to win the NBA MVP.
However, before bucket-getting run at Arizona State, the infamous beard, and magical moments with the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, including winning Sixth Man of the Year, Harden made a guarantee to his mom at a young age that he would be the star he is today.
This video is proof, and it should give you the chills.
Harden has made a career with a complete scoring arsenal, but his ninth season was his best yet.
He made defenders fall with his lethal step-back jumper.
He dunked on some of the best defenders in the league.
He simply got buckets in bunches.
Harden has become an unstoppable offensive force in the NBA. He deserved the stage to shine the most above other award-winning players, including Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Most Improved Player Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), and Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers), among others.
What’s even crazier is he knew this was coming.