Rockets’ P.J. Tucker reveals when he first knew James Harden was ‘unguardable’
Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker is one of the best defenders in the game, so it takes a lot for him to call another player unguardable. The veteran swingman has always hesitated to call another player unguardable just from a pride standpoint, but Tucker knew his teammate, star guard James Harden, was unguardable after what The Beard did last season.
In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, Tucker talks about a game during the 2017-18 season where Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 60 points while recording a triple-double in the Rockets’ win over the Orlando Magic. It was after that game when Tucker knew Harden was an all-time great:
As someone who has carved out a career in this league by making winning plays, being tough on defense and just generally doing the dirty work for my team, I always hesitate to say any player is unguardable. I just hate that term. But I honestly remember the moment when I decided it was the only way to describe James.
It was last season when we played a game against Orlando. This was late January, close to the All-Star break, and our roster was decimated by injuries.
Knowing that we needed a little more from him that night, all James did was go out and become the first player in NBA history to score 60 points while recording a triple-double.
I had never in my life seen anything like that. For real, hands down, it was the most incredible individual performance I’ve ever witnessed in … anything — not just basketball. That was the point when it really hit me that this dude right here was different.
Harden won the MVP award last season. He guided the Rockets to the best record in the NBA.
The Rockets were one game away from reaching the NBA Finals, but they lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games. Harden led the league in scoring again this season and many believe he should win his second straight MVP award.