The GOAT conversation has apparently gotten a new member in James Harden, who’s been brought to the debate recently. People argue about LeBron vs. Jordan, Kobe vs. MJ, but now we have Michael Jordan vs. James Harden. That’s bold.
Well, not for the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who thinks Harden is the best scorer in the history of the game, surpassing the Chicago Bulls legend.
During an appearance on an esports podcast called Selfmade with Nadeshot, Morey recalled why the Rockets wanted to trade for Harden so badly. His response, as noted by Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic, featured some interesting remarks about Harden and Jordan. When he was asked why he pursued Harden so aggressively, Morey replied:
“Both the eye test, because he looks amazing, but if you looked at data at the time, once he had the ball in his hands, and it’s still true to this day, I get a lot of s--- because someone asked me “Who’s a better scorer, him or Michael Jordan?” It’s just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan now.”
“You give James Harden the ball and before you're giving up the ball how many points do you generate, which is how you should measure offense, James Harden is by far No. 1 in NBA history and he was No. 1 even at the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s just he was coming off the bench and he was a little more hidden. So you needed good data to suss that out. So we knew he had that amazing skill to be a scorer.”
Then, he was told that people were not going to like his comments, much less if he talks about Jordan, the greatest player of all time, and he actually agreed on that.
“No, people hate it. The counter-argument is reasonable. If you put Michael Jordan on a team now, he would do more than James Harden. That’s possible, but if you’re just saying NBA history, if you give this guy the ball, how much does his team score after you give him the ball before the other team gets the ball, it’s James Harden. I know that makes people mad, it’s just literally a fact.”
Something we can agree with Morey is that people indeed are going to hate him for those comments. However, that doesn't seem to bother him, given that this is not the first time he’s made those statements. Back in July, he also compared Harden and Jordan during an interview with Dan Patrick, picking the Beard as the best scorer.