James Harden Says He’s The Best Point Guard and Player In the League
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James Harden is currently leading the NBA in points (31.6) and assists (12.7) while also grabbing 7.1 rebounds a game. Those are Tiny Archibald numbers we haven’t seen since Doug Collins’ 24 game experiment with Michael Jordan playing PG in 1989. And with those type of fantasy GOD numbers, there’s no surprise where The Beard ranks himself among the most elite point guards and players today.
“Best point guard or best player?” Harden responded when asked.
“I am,” Harden told The Vertical.
“I thrive on scoring the basketball and creating shots for my teammates,” Harden said. “I go into every game doing what it takes to win, whether it’s assists, whether it’s scoring, rebounding, whatever it is. [D’Antoni] puts a lot of trust in me, and my teammates do as well.”
Well, that “whatever it is” that keeps Harden from being mentioned with the GOATs is his defense. He’s nowhere near as poor of a defender as fans make him out to be but he’s also far from the likes of a Michael Jordan, who was coming off a Defensive Player of The Year award season when he a racked up 10 triple-doubles in 11 games (he only had 40 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds in the non TD game) back in 1989.
On a recent episode of The Jump with Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady and special guest Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the trio discussed Harden’s comments and the GOAT center agreed you have to be a force on the defensive end to be in “best player” conversations.