James Harden’s defensive lapses and lazy tendencies were just too much for Shaquille O’Neal, who named the Houston Rockets star his “Shaqtin’ a Fool” MVP for the 2015-16 NBA season Tuesday.
You see, this “award” isn’t one that any player wants to garner. O’Neal’s weekly “Shaqtin’ a Fool” show, which airs during “Inside the NBA,” highlights in-game blunders and other funny moments on the hardwood, and his MVP choice is a reflection of which player contributed most in that regard. It’s not an indication of on-court excellence, as is usually the case when talking about MVPs.
Harden is coming off a season in which he averaged 29 points per game, good for third in the NBA. He also was sixth in The Association with 7.5 assists per game for a Rockets team that finished eighth in the Western Conference with a 41-41 record before losing to the Golden State Warriors in five games in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
But gaudy stats weren’t enough to save Harden from the wrath of Shaq, who now serves as an NBA analyst after an illustrious career on the court. The big man chewed up Harden and spit him out for the things he didn’t do for the underachieving Rockets.
Harden joins JaVale McGee (2012, 2013), Kendrick Perkins (2014) and Otto Porter Jr. (2015) on the not-so-hot list of “Shaqtin’ a Fool” MVP winners — or losers, really.
Thumbnail photo via Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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