James Harden: ‘I want my name up there’ with NBA’s all-time greats
James Harden has been on an unbelievably remarkable run of late, and his historic scoring output has elicited mentioning his name along with the NBA’s all-time greats.
The Houston Rockets superstar hopes when it’s all said and done, he will be considered among the best who have ever played the game.
“Kobe [Bryant] and Wilt and [Michael] Jordan — now we’re talking about the elites of the game, the greatest to ever touch a basketball,” Harden told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s honorable to be up there with those names. Honest, I have a long way to go. I’m not even close to what they accomplished in their careers. But it’s pretty cool to be in that conversation and almost there. But I have a lot of work to do.
“That’s one of the reasons you play the game of basketball: to be, when it’s all said and done, mentioned as one of the greats, the greatest that ever dribbled a basketball, whether it’s Wilt, whether it’s Jordan, and the list goes on. Obviously, you want to win championships and want the individual accomplishments, but every day (when) I’m in the gym and work on moves, I think about that.
“When I’m done, whenever that is, I want my name up there with them. It’s a good place to be in.”
Harden has been putting up offensive numbers rarely seen in NBA history. He has scored at least 30 points in 20 consecutive games heading into Wednesday’s game against the New York Knicks.
Only Wilt Chamberlain has enjoyed such a remarkable run of consistency, having notched such streaks twice in his career (31- and 65-game streaks).
Harden, averaging 42.3 points per game during his 30-plus-point streak, is almost singlehandedly keeping the Rockets alive in the loaded Western Conference.
Injuries, in particular to Chris Paul, have plagued the Rockets. That said, Harden has led the Rockets to a 26-20 record, currently good for fifth in the West.
Harden, the reigning MVP, is making the case he’s the most dominant offensive player of his era, meaning his hopes of joining the all-time greats will be realized.