Kobe Bryant is making the rounds for comments he made about Harden’s style of play. Bryant believes that with the Rockets style of play, with Harden scoring in spurts, the Rockets can’t win a title. The comment is rather ironic coming from Kobe Bryant, who made a career out of scoring the way Harden currently is.
When asked by Rachel Nichols whether or not the Rockets could win a championship with this current team, Bryant said, “Not with this style of play it won’t. Not with one guy dominating the ball … If you put one player on top of the key, [they ’re] always in front of the defense.” Bryant went to say that Chris Paul will bring “more movement” when he returns which, he claims, will give the Rockets more of a chance at winning a championship.
Bryant’s comments didn’t seem to be in bad intentions. He went on to say, “What [Harden] is doing is absolutely remarkable,”. Bryant explained, “[Harden] has to keep his team’s head above water to win games. You have to do whatever you need to do to win games. He’s doing that.”
Harden is averaging 36.5 points per game and has scored 30+ points for 27 straight games and shows no signs of slowing down. The Rockets are 6-4 in their last 10 games in which Harden has been on a scoring streak. Since Harden’s streak, the Rockets have climbed to 5th place in the West after being irrelevant. Harden is a strong candidate for the MVP and the Rockets show no signs of slowing down.
So exactly what is Bryant talking about? With so much success on the Rockets, one has to wonder why someone would speak against it - but who better than Bryant? Kobe went on a scoring tear in 2006 while averaging 35.4 points per game and lead the Lakers to a first round exit. It wasn’t until the arrival of Pau Gasol where Kobe began working as a playmaker to get other players involved. Then, he won two championships.
James Harden responds to Kobe Bryant's ball dominance criticism.
“I have to ball-dominate with all of the injuries,” Harden told reporters. “We have had the injuries throughout the course of the year. Right now he is probably right. This way that we are playing won’t happen in the playoffs, won’t get us where we want to go, but we haven’t had a full roster. Yet I am excited for that to come.”
James Harden has an amazing season and he will probably win a second consecutive MVP Award, but the real goal is to beat the Golden State Warriors and win the NBA Championship.