Through his first several years in the league, James Harden has established himself as one of the best talents. The Houston Rockets star guard had become a lethal scorer that has drawn tremendous respect from his peers. That also includes Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who had some strong praise toward his scoring prowess.
James Harden’s NBA career
James Harden entered the league as a promising talent behind his scoring and passing prowess.
Harden showed flashes of tremendous potential during his tenure with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That took off after being traded to the Rockets as he developed into a bonafide superstar. Since then, the 31-year-old has put forth an impressive resume that has seen him earn eight All-Star selections, five All-NBA First Team nods, and an MVP award.
He has taken his game to another next level over the last three years, becoming arguably the league’s most potent scorer behind three straight scoring titles. Harden has averaged north of 30 points over each campaign, topped by a career-high 36.1 points in the 2018-19 season.
It has helped him set impressive NBA records such as being the only player to score at least 30 points against every team in a single season. He’s also the only player to make at least 200 three-pointers and 700 free throws in a campaign. His offensive dominance has also helped him earn a huge compliment from Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan compliments James Harden’s unique scoring ability
The last few years have seen James Harden garner more respect from his NBA peers past and present.
It is certainly the case as Michael Jordan, who is generally regarded as the greatest player of all-time, voiced praise toward Harden as he believes he’s “prefected” his approach to scoring. (H/T Roderick Bone of The Athletic)
“I think all records are a sense of pride for the work that you put into the game. So yeah, I’m happy to have it. I’m happy to have it because I think it showcases actually how much you practiced and the effort that I put into it. I think what you are seeing in James Harden is the same thing,” Michael Jordan explained. “He’s not doing this off the whim. It’s something that he’s worked at and he’s perfected to the point where the results are starting to show.
That is huge praise from Jordan, who was one of the greatest scorers that league has seen. Harden has put the proof in the pudding with his play the last couple of years was he’s blown well past 35 points per game.
It makes quite difficult to knock him because of the consistency he has shown with his scoring that has only gone up another notch. More than anything else, it only further validates him as an all-time great scorer.
Eyeing adding an NBA title
James Harden has established his place in league history as one of the greatest scorers.
However, an NBA title continues to elude him despite his tremendous play offensively. That has led the conversation to shift toward his playoff shortcomings since joining the Rockets. He has led the team to a Western Conference Finals appearance but has yet to reach the NBA Finals.
It will continue to be the question mark on his resume despite everything else that he has accomplished. Harden has several more highly productive seasons ahead playing at an elite level that will further cement him as a Hall of Fame talent. However, only time will tell if he can add a championship to his mantel.