James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets convincingly ended the Celtics season and are all but ready for their marquee playoff series with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in round two. Of course, before the series has even begun, an old ESPN interview featuring James Harden Back in 2020 slamming Giannis for not needing to have much skill to play effectively.
“I wish I could just run and be 7 feet and just dunk. Like that takes no skill at all,” Harden said per ESPN’s Rachel Nichols back in 2020. “I gotta actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill. I take that any day.”
This is a scorching hot take because last year Giannis was playing at an all-time level and was the clear-cut MVP. Harden’s statement may be based on a bit of jealousy. His response came after Nichols brought up the fact that Giannis decided to take fellow Eastern Conference star Kemba Walker over James Harden when he was the 2020 All-Star Game captain.
THE GIANNIS HARDEN BEEF CONTINUES 💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/fL6rfmuTqX
— Giannis SZN 🦌✈️ (@Giannis34SZN) June 2, 2021
Giannis Antetokounmpo responded to Harden saying his game was all power and made sure to add that he works on every other aspect of his game.
“My game is not just power for sure, obviously, it’s going to be times where you’ve got to power through guys. Like one of the best players, LeBron, Michael Jordan, Kobe and all those guys … Shaq, all those guys, they were extremely physical with their play. They made their presence felt in the paint, but obviously, I try to work on my game, midrange shots, 3s, being able to screen and roll faster and make the right pass,”
The NBA has seemed to be getting softer in terms of on-court rivalries and beef and this maybe the match that lights the fire in both squads to make this one of the most compelling series especially now since LeBron and the Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns.
This series is all but set to epic and we are all for the smoke between Harden and Giannis.
Flip the page to watch the full interview with Harden and Rachel Nichols.