James Harden has been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player – beating the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Houston Rockets guard picked up the league’s most prestigious prize for the first time, a year after finishing runner-up to Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.
His impressive 2017-18 season saw him notch up an average of 30.4 points per game as he helped guide the Rockets to a franchise record of 65 wins.
Accepting the accolade at the NBA Awards ceremony in California with his mother by his side, Harden said: “Huge shout out to the NBA. NBA and all the legends that paved the way for me to be able to play this game like I do and like I love.
“Sixth Man of the Year to MVP. Shout out to all the youngers that got a dream. Go chase that dream.”
Former winners of the award include Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant – as well as four-time victor James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers player missed out on a fifth MVP trophy following a season in which he played all 82 games for the first time in his career, averaging 27.5 points and career-highs of 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds.
Other winners at the awards included Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, who was named Rookie of the Year, and Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who won the Most Improved Player honour.