James Harden is an enigma. He will be one of the most debated players in NBA history. He joins the list of Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich and Wilt Chamberlain where the numbers don’t lie about their greatness. Though if you talk to people who lived through the experience they will tell a completely different story.
Iverson is top 5 all time in points per game in league history. Only Michael Jordan has won more scoring titles since the NBA merger. He carried a 76ers team through 2 Game 7s and handed the only defeat arguably the greatest basketball team in the ’01 Lakers. He was consider a ball hog and refused later in his career to come off bench or adjust his playing style for the betterment of the team.
Karl Malone is one of the greatest power forwards of all time. Winning 2 league MVPs during the Michael Jordan, Shaq and Tim Duncan era. He was a lethal mid range shooter and until LeBron was the most durable superstar in NBA history. His eventual downfall was his consistent choking in the playoffs.
Feels like someone you have heard before?
Harden is the combination of Iverson and Malone’s careers. That includes the once in a generation scoring to being one of the worse playoff performers. He can be blamed simply for the start of the isolation basketball that purest absolutely despises. Harden is part of the biggest trade in league history when the Thunder traded him to Houston.
Harden has a league MVP and four 2nd place finishes. He was part of one of the highly contested MVP races in the 21st first century in 2017. He is one of 5 players in league history to lead the league in scoring and assists. That list includes LeBron, Chamberlain, Westbrook and Tiny Archibald.
You CAN NOT talk about the game of basketball without bringing up Harden.
Now Harden will be in Los Angeles reunited with Russell Westbrook and will play alongside two injury prone but extremely talented wings in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. His reputation is cemented as basketball’s biggest enigma where bars, barbershops and basketball courts across the country will be debating on his legacy and greatness.