As we all know, this year's MVP race will most likely come down to a choice between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. With strong cases from both Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it has made for one of the closest and most exciting MVP races in NBA history. Houston Rockets point guard James Harden is not shy about letting the media know his opinion on why he deserves the MVP award, even at the expense of his friend and former teammate, Russell Westbrook.

James Harden on why he's the MVP

James Harden discussed the MVP award, and the separation between himself and Russell Westbrook with the reporters.

While Harden was complimentary of Westbrook's incredible season, he also made sure to let them know about his own season. And added what he believes is the main factor when deciding the winner of the award, saying:

"I think it is the most important thing. I thought winning is what this is about... I'm not going to get in-depth... but I thought winning was the most important thing. If you set your team up in a position to have a chance, at the ultimate goal, that's the most important thing."

In Harden's case he believes winning should really be the final approval for who wins the MVP award. Harden's Houston Rockets have a record of 54-26 compared to Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder who have a record of 46-34.

That's 8 extra wins for The Beard, but should those extra wins really decide the MVP? Harden sure thinks so.

Harden complimented Westbrook's season

James Harden also made sure to show respect for Westbrook, and the season he is having. Russell is doing something that no one has done for over 50 years, and that's to average a triple-double and total 42 triple-doubles in a single season.

James stated that Westbrook's incredible season is a "huge accomplishment," he has been balling at a high level all season long, and the statistical brilliance has never been done before. So Harden sure has shown his appreciation for the man from Long Beach, California.

Harden is having himself a great all-around statistical season too, with 21 triple doubles himself so far, he might've also averaged a triple double if he grabbed a couple more rebounds per game.

If that happened, it would've been the first time in history that two players would've averaged a triple-double for a season.

Either way, whether Harden or Westbrook wins the MVP award, the former teammates have a lot of respect for each other.