James Harden responded to Giannis Anteokounmpo’s ‘joke’ (or jab) that he didn’t draft him to his NBA All-Star team in early Feb. because Harden doesn’t pass. Harden admittedly missed the joke, and just responded with a savage comeback.
James Harden wasn’t laughing when he heard the reason Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t draft him to his NBA All-Star team in early February. At the time, Giannis, who is the reigning NBA MVP, admitted that he wanted someone on his team who would “pass the ball.” His comment got many laughs out the Inside The NBA crew, but Harden, not so much.
After crunching some statistics, Harden hit back with the numbers — and, they don’t lie. “I average more assists him than him, I think…I don’t see what the joke is,” Harden told ESPN‘s Rachel Nichols when she asked him about Giannis’ joke (at the 5:52 mark ). “I didn’t even see it. I don’t pay attention to stuff like that,” he admitted.
In the end, “I just know that none of them can mess with me. I wish I could just run and was seven feet and run and just dunk. That takes no skill at all. I had to actually learn how to play basketball and have skill,” Harden continued. “I’ll take that any day.”
To put things into perspective, Harden currently ranks ninth in the NBA in assists per game with 7.3, while Kemba is tied for 36th with 5.0 per game.
Giannis’ joke came as no surprise to many seeing as Harden’s ball-dominating, iso game has been a love-hate debate for years. Many have said his heavy offensive abilities come with a lack of defensive. Nonetheless, the Houston Rockets have been quite satisfied with their star point guard since they acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012.
Both Harden and Giannis are in the MVP conversation this season. Harden is on track to lead the NBA in scoring for the third consecutive year, averaging 35.2 points, 7.3 assists and 6.4 rebounds per contest. He won the MVP award during the 2017-18 campaign.
Meanwhile, the “Greek Freak” is leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a potential title. The team currently has the best winning record in the NBA, due in part to Giannis’ much-improved shooting. He is averaging a career-high 1.5 three-pointers per game, while shooting 31.4 percent from beyond the arc, which puts him up from last season’s 25.6 percent. Harden and Giannis will meet again when the Bucks host the Rockets on March 25.