A while ago, Rockets GM Daryl Morey made an interesting comment on James Harden and his talent as a scorer.
“It’s just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan,” the analytics-minded Morey said on the Selfmade podcast.
At the time, it was seen as controversial by the masses, who argued why Morey’s argument was flawed. Recently, Harden himself even came to shrug off the claim, following up with two simple words.
To put Harden in the same breath as MJ seems like complete blasphemy, but it’s easy to see where he is coming from. This past season, Harden averaged 36.1 points on 44% shooting. He can hit the three, he can drive to the lane, and he can score off the dribble. There are very few weaknesses when it comes to Harden’s offensive game.
Jordan, though, was almost unstoppable. Though he did not have the same shooting ability as James, he could put the ball in the hoop at will.
Looking past Jordan, there are a few names that can match up to Harden. Kareem, Kobe, LeBron, and even Larry Bird are comparable. So maybe Daryl should slow down with the MJ/James Harden comparisons for now.
While The Beard certainly has a case, he isn’t quite there yet.