James Harden gave an interview for Rachel Nichols from ESPN reflecting on the Houston Rockets small-ball lineup, dealing with double-teams around the league, and why he thinks he is the best player in the NBA. On top of that, Harden responded to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s joke about him not passing the ball enough.
Before the All-Star weekend, Giannis said he chose Kemba Walker in front of Harden because of his ability to pass the ball, despite the fact Harden is currently averaging more assists per game than Kemba. That didn’t sit well with Harden who takes immense pride in his ability to score the ball but also find the open teammate when being double-teamed by the opposing teams
“I didn’t pay any attention to that. I just know none of them can mess with me. When it’s all said and done, they will appreciate it more. I wish I could just run with being 7 feet and just dunk. That takes no skill at all. I actually had to learn how to play basketball or how to have skills. I take that any day.”
Harden is leading the league in scoring for a third straight season while averaging over seven assists per game. Harden proved he is more than capable of passing the ball, especially now in the new small-ball system the Rockets have implemented. They have more room to operate because of an improved spacing, which makes Harden’s job of finding open teammates easier than ever before.