The media that votes for the NBA’s MVP get five selections of which to assign points and Houston Rockets star James Harden was left off 15 ballots entirely.
On Friday, the NBA announced Giannis Antetokounmpo won his second consecutive MVP award after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the league. LeBron James finished second to Giannis’ 962 votes with 753 voting points while Houston Rockets star James Harden was third with 367.
When the full voting results were released on Saturday afternoon, it became clear why there was such a disparity in voting points between second and third place, as several prominent members of the media didn’t include Harden at all in their ballots.
Voting ballots work like so: each voter has five slots in which to assign points to their choices for league MVP, with first place being worth the most, second place being less, etc.
- 1st place: 10 points
- 2nd place: 7 points
- 3rd place: 5 points
- 4th place: 3 points
- 5th place: 1 point
Out of 101 total voters on the spreadsheet released Saturday afternoon, there were 15 voters that didn’t see Harden as worthy of being in the top five of MVP voting. The list includes some expected names as well as some surprising ones and goes as follows.
Greg Anthony (Turner)
Tim Bontemps (ESPN)
Shams Charania (The Athletic/Stadium)
Davide Chinellato (La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Antoni Daimiel (Movistar+)
Amin Elhassan (ESPN)
Frank Isola (Sirius Radio)
Coral Lu (ESPN-Tencent)
Brian Mahoney (AP)
Keith Pompey (Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)
Bill Simmons (The Ringer)
Seerat Sohi (Yahoo! Sports)
Justin Termine (Sirius Radio)
Brian Windhorst (ESPN)
Royce Young (ESPN)
James Harden comes off a season in which he led the league in scoring for the third straight year, putting up 34.3 points per game. The Beard also matched his 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game from last season.
Despite having roughly the same statistical output as last year in which he was voted first or second on every single ballot, it’s a bit surprising to see him completely left off nearly 15 percent of the media’s selections this year.