It comes time for every star player to pass the torch. Even the best of the best know that when it comes time to hang up the jersey, there will be someone to take their place. According to Tyson Chandler, Kobe Bryant thought the player to continue the legacy would be James Harden.
Chandler revealed that in 2011, Bryant told him Harden would be next up:
Kobe told Tyson Chandler after a pickup game in 2011: “He’s (James Harden) going to be the next one after me.” #Rockets
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) September 27, 2019
Of all the players in the game today, you could make an argument that Harden is the most similar to the Mamba.
While he might lack the killer instinct and defensive ability that Kobe displayed over his storied career, Harden is one of the most unstoppable offensive players in the game today.
Kobe Bryant got many of his buckets with his unguardable fadeaway. No matter how controversial it is, Harden has amassed historical numbers with his iconic step-back.
No one in the league can stop the 6’5″ shooting guard when the step back is falling. Defenders are forced to take a back seat as The Beard drops 40 on them.
The story was the same for Kobe in his prime. No matter what a defender did, or how many defenders were thrown at him, Byant would get that picture-perfect, impossible-looking shot to drop.
James Harden, like Kobe, has won one MVP so far. To truly live up to the Laker legends words, he’ll have to win a few championships and continue his league dominance for a few more years.