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MVP debate continues, Rockets roll, a clown who might not scare you and more: The update for April 17

Editor’s note: Neal Farmer is Executive Director of the Touchdown Club, a former reporter for the Houston Chronicle and an all around good guy. He does the Monday updates.

The NBA MVP debate is getting on my nerves. Houston’s Harden or the Thunderous Westbrook?

James Harden’s stats in 2016-17 are unparalleled: 2,000 points, 900 assists, 600 rebounds in a single season. He is the first player in NBA history to do so.

Russell Westbrook had 42 triple-doubles this year to break the record of 41 in a season by Oscar Robertson (1961-62).

Westbrook was first in the league in scoring and Harden was second. Harden was first in assists and Westbrook  was third. Westbrook led all guards in rebounding and Harden was second in that category. I am told both remain friends from their days of playing together at Oklahoma City, but I will have to admit it doesn’t look like it on the court.  

For me it comes down to interpretation of what MVP means. Is it the best player in the league? Or is it the player who makes all of his teammates better and they win more games than the others up for MVP consideration?

Oscar Robertson has endorsed Westbrook, and who wouldn’t like to have the Big O?

One thing that turned me off is Harden campaigning for the award. I mean, there are plenty of people being his advocate. And the Rockets have a PR staff. He didn’t need to be out there with this. But as a person who played basketball through high school, I just love watching Harden play because I would like to think I understand the nuances of the sport. Even when he does not get back on defense. There is no doubt that he makes everyone on the Rockets play better. That’s why if I had a vote, I would vote for Harden.

But we know who will win the MVP — the person whose team is eliminated in the Houston-OKC, first-round matchup. Isn’t that they way it usually happens?

unnamed (1)SPEAKING OF WHICH — The Rockets took Game 1 of the showdown with an easy 118-87 win over the Thunder. James Harden had 37 but struggled from long range. The Rockets as a team were just 10 of 33 on 3s, so to get an easy win shooting like that bodes well.

unnamedKISSING UP — Harden has been campaigning for the MVP, but Russell Westbrook was kissing up to the voters on Sunday in Houston. 

PITY PARTY — A friend sent me a connection to a 6-foot-8-inch clown in full costume who was singing the Who’s Pinball Wizard to the tune of Johnny Cash’s Folsum Prison Blues. I refused to look at the video for days because, you know, there was a 6-foot-8 clown in it.

But I did. Like, it was outlandish and superb.

Now I am fascinated. Apparently the clown has been around for several years, but I am just now finding him. A tag line said that soul and heart can come through no matter what costume you are wearing. Man, I wish I had written that. This guy has reviews by just about every East Coast newspaper. His voice is soulful and a smooth as triple-filtered tequila.

Here is a link to Puddles singing Pinball Wizard:

Folsom Prison Blues/Pinball Wizard Mashup – Johnny Cash – The Who – Puddles Pity Party


NERD ALERT — The first trailer for the newest Star Wars movie came out over the weekend.

Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi Official Trailer #1 (2017) Star Wars: Episode VIII Movie HD


CLASSICAL MUSIC NOTES — Let’s say you want music that for years has been billed as something to court a woman by. It’s hand down, Bolero by Maurice Ravel. You’ll thank me later.


I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

Maya Angelou


unnamed (2)

The hotties who distracted the New Orleans Pelicans last month may not be needed in the first round of the playoffs, after Houston’s first-round, blowout win over Oklahoma City.


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