Remeber when the Rockets were riding the bottom of the Western Conference standings? The team was reeling, and everybody was convinced their time was over.
Then James Harden happened. The superstar guard started putting up insane numbers, and the Rockets have quickly made progress on their lost season. In light of Harden’s insane stretch (in which he has averaged 40.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists during Houston’s 11-1 hot streak), Rockets GM Daryl Morey had some pretty high praise for him.
“You could argue for him as the best offensive player of all time,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told ESPN. “To be able to say that with a straight face, and not have it be GM speak or coachspeak, is pretty amazing. There’s a whole bunch of ways to measure it, but he’s for sure in the conversation as the greatest offensive player ever.”
“Harden, who is leading the NBA with a career-high 33.6 points per game, is unquestionably in the midst of one of the most spectacular offensive stretches in recent NBA history. He has scored at least 40 points in five consecutive games, joining Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson as the only players to have such streaks in the past 50 years.”
“He’s at a level that almost nobody in NBA history has been at,” Morey said. “We’re obviously focused on April and beyond, but it’s special to watch right now.”
The impact The Beard has on the Rockets’ offense is extreme. With Harden on the court, the Rockets rank 1st in offensive efficiency. With him off, they slide to 15th. For the season, he’s averaging 33.7 points per game, 8.5 assists, and 5.9 rebounds on 43.7% shooting.
He can shoot, pass, draw fouls, drive, dunk… there’s nothing he can’t do.
So when Daryl Morey says James Harden might be the best offensive player ever, it’s not a notion that should be dismissed lightly.