James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo aren’t over their MVP beef but

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo aren’t over their MVP beef yet

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo nonetheless have some dangerous blood over final 12 months’s tight MVP race. The 2 superstars have been taking refined photographs at one another via the media ever since Antetokounmpo edged Harden to win the award. With Antetokounmpo set to seize his second straight MVP this season, Harden escalated the meat throughout an ESPN interview with Rachel Nichols that surfaced Friday.
Nichols requested Harden a few remark Antetokounmpo made in the course of the 2020 NBA All-Star Sport draft as he chosen his staff towards LeBron James. When the TNT crew pressed Antetokounmpo about selecting Kemba Walker over Harden, he stated “I would like somebody who will cross the ball” with a chuckle.
Harden didn’t maintain again when Nichols requested him about it:

Right here’s a transcription of what was stated:
RACHEL NICHOLS: You do have folks speaking about a number of the stereotypes which have blown up round you. Charles Barkley once they had the all-star draft, was saying ‘nobody desires to take James Harden, he’s a dribbler.’ Giannis makes a joke on the air about ‘I wish to take somebody who can cross, I’m taking Kemba Walker as an alternative of James Harden.’
JAMES HARDEN: I averaged extra assists than him (Walker) I feel.
RN: You ranked 10th in assists going into the all-star break, and Kemba ranked 36th in assists going into the all-star break.
JH: I don’t see what the joke is. However I didn’t even see it, I don’t take note of stuff like that. I simply know that none of them can mess with me.
RN: Daryl Morey your GM had an amazing line about that. He stated ‘being totally different doesn’t get appreciated till it really works.’
JH: Or once I’m achieved. When it’s all stated and achieved, they are going to respect it extra. However I want I used to be 7-feet, and will run and simply dunk. That takes no talent in any respect. I’ve to really discover ways to play basketball and the right way to have talent. I’ll take that day by day.
Sure, Harden actually went there. It does look like there’s some actual beef between the 2 stars. Let’s run via the whole lot else.
The Rockets fired off a salty tweet as Antetokounmpo was named MVP
The Rockets had been ready for Antetokounmpo to be named MVP over Harden. When it occurred, they fired off three tweets they later deleted making the case that Harden ought to have received the award as an alternative. Right here’s a screencap of the primary tweet:

NBA followers clowned the Rockets for this whereas noting Houston can be the franchise which had lately declared they’d have received the 2018 Western Convention Finals if the refs made calls that went their approach by way of an inner audit. This was the beginning of it.
Harden feedback on the award determination
Throughout an interview on Aug. 22, Harden made his first public feedback in regards to the MVP going to Antetokounmpo, saying “I feel as soon as the media creates a story about someone from the start of the 12 months, I feel they only take that narrative and run with it the whole 12 months.”

Harden famously had a gradual begin to the 2018-19 season earlier than occurring a scoring barrage to place up some historic numbers the remainder of the way in which.
Harden feedback on the MVP determination once more to GQ

In a September cowl story, Harden once more stated the media had made an early determination to present Giannis the award. He continued: “However the issues I used to be placing up had been legendary. You going to look again in 10, 15 years from now and be like, is that basically true? Did that basically occur?”

Nah, it hasn’t occurred but, it’s too early. Wait till the preseason and when the common season begins up once more. However they [the media] for certain bought some groups they locked in on. Everyone knows. That’s simply what it’s. You’ll be able to’t inform me {that a} man whose staff was a 14-seed at one level final 12 months, and ended up a four-seed with the whole lot that was occurring — so many accidents — and who went on a 32-game 30-point streak, eight 50-point video games, two 60-point video games in a single season … and all of the discuss was about [Giannis Antetokounmpo]? There’s no approach.
I simply had to take a look at what I may do to get higher for subsequent 12 months. You’ll be able to’t pout or be mad, and the child had an unbelievable season, so did his staff. However the issues I used to be placing up had been legendary. You going to look again in 10, 15 years from now and be like, is that basically true? Did that basically occur? That’s some stuff they had been doing again when Kareem and all these different guys had been enjoying. However I’m glad. We’ve got a staff objective of successful a championship, and I’m able to get going now.

Antetokounmpo downplays the meat with Harden
Antetokounmpo was requested about Harden’s feedback throughout an interview with Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports activities. That is what he stated:

“That’s their opinion. They’re gonna have James’ again,” Antetokounmpo stated. “I’m by no means gonna say I’m higher than James.”
But it surely doesn’t imply he’ll relinquish the award or apologize for it. “The trophy’s in my home,” he stated.

Appears truthful sufficient. Perhaps this can die down when the brand new season begins?
Apparently not.

Antetokounmpo by accident fired a ball at Harden’s head within the season opener
The Bucks and Rockets confronted off of their first sport of the season, with Milwaukee taking house a 117-111 win. Antetokounmpo had 30 factors within the sport in comparison with 19 for Harden, who struggled taking pictures the ball from the sphere.
At one level in the course of the sport, Antetokounmpo threw a bullet cross that hit Harden sq. within the head on accident.

Antetokounmpo takes a dig at Harden within the all-star draft
“I would like somebody who’s going to cross the ball,” Antetokounmpo stated as he picked Walker over Harden.

Antetokounmpo says his staff focused Harden defensively within the NBA All-Star Sport
After Staff Giannis fell quick in an exhilarating NBA All-Star Sport towards Staff LeBron, Antetokounmpo stated his staff’s late sport technique was to focus on whoever Harden was guarding:

“Offensively, we had been simply looking for whoever James Harden was guarding,” Antetokounmpo stated. “That’s who we thought we had a possibility to attain on.”
There’s actual beef between Harden and Antetokounmpo

In a variety of methods, this beef is sensible. I’ll let my SB Nation colleague Mike Prada break it down:
“This type of speaks to how they view the sport itself. Giannis is so team-oriented and actually doesn’t care about particular person glory. I think about he resents the way in which Harden performs. In the meantime, I think about Harden resents Giannis’ bodily presents and golden-boy picture, he yearns to be beloved like he’s.”
In fact, Harden does cross, and has recurrently put up enormous help numbers via the years. Antetokounmpo does have talent — there’s a motive why we’ve by no means seen a 7’ participant be capable of do the issues he’s capable of as a ball handler and transition power with masterful footwork.
Each are nice gamers. It’s too dangerous these guys play in numerous conferences, as a result of we’d like to see a playoff collection towards them.

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