In a recent interview with ESPN’s Scoop Jackson, James Harden revealed to the world what every basketball thinks of himself; that he is the best basketball player alive.
Scoop: Bottom line, you are on this team and a lot of players aren’t, but in your mind, who is the best basketball player alive right now?
Scoop: That’s what I was about to say, “including you.” You made that sound like it was an easy answer.
Harden: It is. Myself.
Scoop: Then here’s the question: Are you where you want to be basketball-wise, even if you are the best?
Harden: Nowhere near close. I’ve got a long way to go, a lot of learning to do, improvements to make. Um, you know, as long as I’m listening and focused on the right things, I can reach my potential.
Scoop: So in your mind, you haven’t reached [your potential] yet?
Harden: Not even close.
Scroll through ESPN, Bleacher Report, and other site’s comments and many NBA fans will be criticizing Harden for his comments.
Every NBA player needs to have this confidence. Every NBA player needs to believe he is the best player in the NBA. If you don’t, you’re going to get beat.
We all know LeBron James is the best basketball player alive. But everyone from Kevin Durant to Kendrick Perkins needs to believe they are the best NBA player alive. Well maybe not you, Perk. You actually suck. But I think y’all get the point.
When Harden say’s he’s “nowhere near close” to being the best he could be, his answer is a bit interesting. Everyone knows he needs to show a greater effort on defense, and I’m sure he knows that as well. However, not once during that entire interview did he specifically mention his effort on the defensive side of the ball, though it certainly could be implied by some of his other answers.
Harden did say earlier this week that he wants to be a “defensive stopper” which sounds crazy to most, but isn’t so shocking. Many believe Harden has the athleticism to be a solid defender, but it’s the effort which he currently lacks.
So is James Harden the best basketball player alive? No. Is he close? No, not really. Does he know that? Probably, but that’s not something he should be saying to the media.
Keep improving and maybe one day, James, your words will be true.
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