The Michael Jordan, James Harden comparison, according to Rick Carlisle
Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle could not help but heap praise towards the direction of James Harden, as the Houston Rockets superstar willed his team to a thrilling overtime victory against the Mavs on Friday. Carlisle was so impressed with what he saw from Harden that he invoked none other than the great Michael Jordan to try and find a comparison for the Rockets guard.
Carlisle expressed how he firmly believes that James Harden is one of the greatest scorers of all time:
“Pound for pound, Harden is one of the best scorers in the history of basketball, up there with all the greats,” Carlisle said, via Jonathan Feigen of Texas Sports Nation. “You look at the number of points he’s averaging, it’s breathtaking what he’s done over the past couple of years.
“In terms of the number of points and the efficiency, there are many comparisons. The dynamics of the game when Jordan played were different. There wasn’t as much emphasis on the 3. Michael Jordan operated in a lot of different areas on the court. So, the game looked different back in those days.
“I have no doubt that if Jordan was playing today, his game could look any way he wanted it to look to score the ball and do what was necessary to win games.”
Carlisle, who himself has an opportunity to try and defend MJ during their playing days, did not exactly say that he sees Jordan in Harden. However, just to be mentioned in the same breath as the GOAT has got to be an ultimate honor for Harden.
Harden torched the Mavs on Friday, going for 49 points on 14-of-20 shooting, along with three triples, nine boards, eight dimes, three steals, and three blocks. Dallas simply had no answer for the former MVP.