James Harden is the best player in the NBA, according to James Harden. The Houston Rockets star broke the news about his ranking atop the NBA elites earlier this week, when a reporter for Yahoo! basketball blog the Vertical asked Harden a question which, in retrospect, was really quite silly: Who is the league’s best player at his position? Harden asked for clarification: “Best point guard or best player?” Either one, the reporter said, to which Harden brilliantly responded, “I am.”
This is the third-straight season Harden has taken home the prestigious James Harden MVP award. In 2014, Harden called Harden “the best all-around basketball player in the NBA,” while in 2015 he praised the high-scoring guard as “probably” the best player in the league. It’s clear that James Harden is the best player in James Harden’s world, far surpassing competitors LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant—a trio of legends whose skills, though admirable in comparison, fall well short of Harden’s, at least in the bearded maestro’s mind.
In all seriousness, though, Harden is having a pretty incredible season this year. He’s thrived in his new role as point guard in new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, averaging an incredible thirty points, thirteen assists and 7.6 rebounds per game while leading the Rockets to a respectable 5-3 record through the NBA season’s first two weeks. Even the ultra-nerdy advanced-metric statistics prove Harden is having himself a season that places him within, and possibly atop, the league’s elite echelon, and on Wednesday night Harden recorded a triple double—with fifteen assists—on the road against the vaunted San Antonio Spurs defense.
What strange new world is this? James Harden’s, apparently. And our new leader knows, deep in his beard of beards, just how special he is. Take, for instance, this scene following the Rockets’ win over the Washington Wizards on Monday. Writes the Vertical:
Security guard leading the way, Harden made his way down a hallway, where a misplaced mirror leaned up against a wall. Harden walked by, caught his reflection in the periphery and paused. Harden then stepped back to briefly gaze and admire, rubbing his patented beard to make sure he looked OK, and strolled toward the exit.
We are not worthy.