LOS ANGELES, United States, Feb 28 – Houston Rockets star James Harden took aim at Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday, suggesting the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player’s style of play was nothing to get excited about.
“I wish I could just run and be seven feet (2.13 m) and just dunk,” Harden told ESPN on Friday. “Like, that takes no skill at all.
“I’ve got to actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill. I take that any day.”
Harden, who beat LeBron James in a landslide for the 2018 NBA MVP award, has a burgeoning, and somewhat testy, rivalry with Antetokounmpo, whose size, athleticism and skill earned him the nickname the “Greek Freak.”
Antetokounmpo, who has led the Bucks to the best record in the league and helped them clinch a playoff spot earlier than any other team in history, fanned the feud during the All-Star Game draft, when he selected Kemba Walker ahead of Harden for his team and quipped it was because he wanted a teammate who would pass the ball.
“I average more assists than (Walker), I think,” said Harden, who is in fact averaging 7.3 assists per game to Walker’s 5.0. “I don’t see what the joke is.”
It appears it will be no laughing matter when the Bucks play the Rockets on March 25.