Rockets star James Harden and the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo are two of the strongest contenders for the NBA MVP award this season. Both have been in stellar form this season. However, it appears that the duo may also be embroiled in a personal feud. James Harden fired back at Giannis Antetokounmpo for the latter's All-Star snub.
The feud began during the All-Star draft when Giannis Antetokounmpo opted to pick Boston Celtics star Kemba Walker over James Harden. Giannis later explained his decision, jokingly stating that he wanted someone who could pass the ball.
However, it was Harden, who was all smiles at the end as he was picked by Team LeBron next. His side beat Team Giannis by a 157-155 margin. The Bucks star further aggravated the feud when he stated that his team were targeting whomsoever Harden was guarding. They believed they could score on him.
With the feud looking 2-0 for Giannis, James Harden has fired back in quite some fashion. ESPN released an interview with James Harden where the 30-year-old defended his style of play. He stated, "I average more assists than him [Walker], I think."
It is true as Harden ranks ninth in the NBA assists charts with an average of 7.3 assists per game. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker is out of the top 30 with just 5.0 assists per game.
He went on to say that when his career is over, he’ll be appreciated even more. Harden also reiterated the importance of winning the NBA title in order to be appreciated by fans and peers.
Harden made sure he fired back at Giannis with an equally cheeky dig. Here's what Harden had to say for Giannis, "I wish I could just run and be 7 feet and just dunk. Like that takes no skill at all, gotta actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill. I'd take that any day."
Harden fires back at Giannis— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 28, 2020
“I wish I could just run and be 7-feet and just dunk. Like that takes no skill at all” 😳
Giannis isn't fazed. pic.twitter.com/AoYn5A6CDy— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 29, 2020
As mentioned above, James Harden is right on the heels of reigning MVP Giannis for the crown. Harden who won the MVP in 2018, is averaging 35.2 points, 7.3 assists and 6.4 rebounds this season. He is on track to lead the NBA in terms of points scored for the third consecutive year. Meanwhile, Giannis has managed to improve his numbers as he is averaging 29.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists this season.
It'll be interesting to see how the feud between the two of the most dominating players this season shapes up as we are headed into the post-season.