James Harden didn’t win his second NBA MVP award Monday but he still joined an exclusive group.
The Rockets star lost out to the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, making this the third time he’s finished second in the voting. Only Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant have as many MVP runner-ups as Harden, as noted by The Athletic.
Harden entered 2018-19 as the reigning MVP and he arguably improved upon last season’s impressive run. The 6-5 guard led the league in scoring for a second consecutive year, averaging a staggering 36.1 points per game. He also put together an impressive run in which he scored 30 points or more in 32 consecutive games.
Antetokounmpo, however, made history in his own right.
Antetokounmpo was historically good as a finisher at the rim and became the first player in NBA history to average at least 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. He led Milwaukee to a league-best 60-22 record at age 24 and is one of the youngest ever to be named MVP in the modern era.
Harden didn’t make an appearance at the award show and obviously isn’t happy with the result, but he has continued to align himself with the likes of some of the greatest to ever play the game.