With Boston Celtics center Al Horford finally becoming an NBA champion, he's now forever linked with Los Angeles Clippers guard James Harden unexpectedly. Horford won his first ring after his 186th playoff game on Monday, which had previously been a record amongst active players.

Now, Harden holds that record, and Horford couldn't be happier about it, via Celtics Blog's Jack Simone.

“I feel grateful,” Horford said. “I know I said it before, but it's glory to the Lord for me for putting me in this position. It's been a lot of years. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I'm going through the emotions right now, but I don't feel like it's over. This is an unbelievable feeling. You got the confetti, everything's going on. It just hasn't hit me yet.”

Harden now leads the NBA with 166 playoff games played without a championship, via StatMuse. The 34-year-old now ranks fourth all-time on that list, one slot ahead of former Houston Rockets teammate Chris Paul, with 149 games.

Will the three-time scoring champion ever take his name off that list?

If Harden doesn't win a ring with the Clippers, it may never happen

LA Clippers guard James Harden (1) looks to move the ball past Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the fourth quarter during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Harden may no longer be in the MVP-caliber portion of his career, but he's still a threat whenever he touches the ball. The 34-year-old averaged 16.6 points per game on 42.8% shooting for Los Angeles this past season, with 8.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals across 34.3 minutes.

Harden played well against the eventual Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks in the first round, outside of a rough Game 5, when he scored just 7 points on a two-of-12 clip from the field. However, his Clippers, who lost Kawhi Leonard due to injury, fell in six games.

After forcing his way out of Philadelphia, it doesn't look any easier for Harden to win in his new home. He's not getting any younger, and the Western Conference continues to be a competitive bloodbath.

With that being said, the all-time great still has plenty of respect around the league. Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, also known as the greatest shooter ever, still has Harden in his top five of his generation, via his Heat Check podcast.

“Mine is kind of split like right on a changing of the guard,” Curry said. “Because you could say Kobe and Tim Duncan in the first four years of my career, so I'm going to exclude that. I'm gonna go from basically 2009-2023 right now. LeBron, KD, Kawhi – I know, every time you do this you're going to miss somebody… Obviously, myself… I'm gonna say James [Harden].”

While the game's greatest players may respect him, that won't help the Clippers' core stay healthy in the playoffs. Without some better luck on the injury front, it's hard to see Harden and Los Angeles hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy anytime soon.