James Harden recently sat down with ESPN's Scoop Jackson for a fairly interesting interview which you can read here, but the most interesting thing he said was in response to the opening question. When asked who the best player in the world was, Harden declared that he was the answer. Here's an excerpt from the exchange:
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.
It's the answer that most NBA stars have, and you'd expect nothing less from James Harden. Quite frankly, I'd almost be disappointed if he took the rational way out and said LeBron or Durant, because that incredible confidence is part of what makes him an amazing player.
It's completely unreasonable to expect NBA players to be able to rank themselves objectively, while also expecting them to ooze confidence and play with reckless abandon when they are on the court. The same reason that Harden has no fear taking the last shot in a tie game is why he considers himself the best player in the world.
Check out the whole interview, and let us know in the comments what you thought of the quote!