Is Houston Rockets superstar James Harden arrogant or confident?
Harden stirred the pot on Tuesday, while claiming to be better than LeBron James – widely regarded as the best in the world. “I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” Harden told NBA.com’s Fran Blinebury. “I thought I was last year, too.”
Harden went on to add that he was robbed of MVP honors: “I know I was the MVP. That’s 100 percent given all the things that happened last season. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. I’m not taking anything away from Steph but I felt I deserved the award.”
Meanwhile, Curry responded on Wednesday after Warriors’ practice session. “I try not to do a lot of talking, especially (regarding) things that have passed. Obviously, you’ve got to motivate yourself and I’m sure he’s motivated this year to do some special things. I’m the same way.”
ESPN’s Stephen Smith launched into Harden during today’s First Take show. “First of all, Harden needs to get his facts straight. No 1 he did not lead the league in minutes, that honor belongs to Jimmy Butler. Secondly, when you look at his numbers, he was absolutely sensational, especially when you consider that Dwight Howard missed about 40 games. Without a doubt, Harden carried the Rockets. Having said all that, let’s not think that’s a license to minimize what Curry accomplished. Curry did average 23.7 points, but he also averaged more assists (than Harden) and played considerably lesser minutes because Golden State were annihilating competition.”
Smith added, “And if we’re being honest, let’s not forget that Curry out-performed Harden in the postseason.”
The Rockets were knocked out of the Western Conference Finals by Curry and the Warriors, who went on to win it all. And yet Harden thinks he deserved the distinction of MVP.
“I have no problem with what Harden has said. But I have a problem with how expletive he was in his comments. The arguments that he made for himself against Curry doesn’t hold water entirely.”