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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reacts to Daryl Morey’s claim that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan

Tilman Fertitta never fails to defend James Harden.

The Houston Rockets owner supported his team’s superstar’s recent comments about media bias causing him to finish runner-up in MVP voting to Giannis Antetokounmpo last season, and in general goes out of his way to lavish praise on Harden at every opportunity possible. It makes sense, too. Maybe no player in the league drives his team’s success more than Harden, and the player empowerment era has made abundantly clear that true franchise players hold their fate in their own hands.

But even Fertitta couldn’t bring himself to echo Daryl Morey’s take about how Harden stacks up to Michael Jordan. Asked if Harden is a better scorer than the player broadly considered the greatest of all time, a laughing Feritta refused to answer directly.

“I’ve gotta go back and watch Michael, but Michael is the greatest player that’s ever lived. And to be out of sports and still be as big as he is today, where his shoe outsells anybody else’s…He’s a remarkable athlete. Do I think James is a better scorer?” he said, in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I think James is great, and we’ll just have to see when it all shakes out in the end. We’ll look at all the analytics and then decide together.”

How would Jordan respond to hearing Harden was the superior scorer? By saying it’s “a bunch of bulls***,” Feritta replied.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Jordan was a far more versatile scorer than James Harden, but wasn’t nearly as good a three-point shooter. Bottom line: Both players are two of the top scorers of all time, and no one should argue otherwise.