Charles Barkley thinks James Harden is a better offensive player than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant
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Charles Barkley thinks James Harden is a better offensive player than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

James Harden has been playing like a true MVP for the past few weeks, showcasing why he is one of the world’s best players. It took him a few games to adjust to the Brooklyn Nets and their system with KD and Kyrie. As of right now, he is the absolute leader on that team, displaying incredible versatility and dominance against any team the Nets recently faced. The Nets are currently sitting in the second spot in the eastern conference, winning games and playing great basketball, and Harden is a big reason for that recent success.

His recent individual performances have sparked Charles Barkley to go on ESPN and call Harden the best player in the world. On top of that, he even double-downed on some of his previous comments from a few years ago when he described Harden as the best offensive player in NBA history. Barkley is pretty much implying he is better offensively than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

This guy might be the best basketball player in the world. I’ve always thought he was the best offensive player. He wasn’t as great as Michael and Kobe, but I said a few years ago, and people laughed at me that he is the best offensive player I’ve ever seen. Right now, no disrespect to LeBron, or Giannis, or anybody. James Harden might be the best basketball player in the world.

Charles Barkley, via ESPN

Barkley is fascinated with the way Harden adapted to the Nets and their offense in which he now has full control over. After leaving the Rockets, there were many questions about whether he would be able to fit well with the Nets, and right now, it most certainly seems like getting Harden was the right decision. Barkley thinks Harden is better offensively than Kobe and Jordan despite not being an overall better player than these two legendary guards.

He has adapted and changed. I think he is a bit better defensively, but for them to win games without KD and Kyrie, you gotta give that man some credit. He is the most awesome offensive player I have ever seen. Michael and Kobe were better players from a guard standpoint, but offensively, they couldn’t shoot threes like him. They were not as great at dribbling the basketball, going to the basket, and getting fouls. Every time he goes to the basket, he is going to get somebody and get two free-throws. We have to give this man credit; he is an offensive machine, plain and simple.

Charles Barkley, via ESPN

Whether you like Harden or not, you have to admit he is doing some pretty remarkable things for the Nets, either scoring the ball or making plays for his teammates. Obviously, it’s hard to make any comparisons to Kobe or Jordan, but on the other hand, Barkley played against Jordan and Kobe, so he has absolute right to make this type of comparison. Harden’s versatility on offense is absolutely incredible, and even though his defense was never on Kobe’s or Jordan’s level, he improved that aspect of his game. It will be interesting to see how he will perform throughout the rest of this season, but as of right now, James Harden definitely belongs in the MVP conversations.