Colin Cowherd’s reaction to James Harden’s triple-double against the Magic

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Colin Cowherd talks James Harden after his triple-double last night. Find out why Colin wasn't overly impressed with the media's reaction to his statline.

- You know what's happened with the NBA, with all these analytics? A lot of NBA media and NBA fans have become baseball geeks. Triple double, triple double. Oh gah, triple double, stats, analytics. Oh gah! Last night, James Harden got a triple double, 60 points. Listen to the Rockets announcer on this. My head hurts. Listen to the very last sentence, please. My head hurts.

ANNOUNCER: Hezonja puts it up.

And Harden gets a triple double. 60 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. What a night for James Harden. Boy, what an MVP performance tonight. Boy, what a game. I've been around this game. I've called games for Moses Malone, for Hakeem Olajuwon, for Clyde Drexler, and I have never seen a game like this.

- Wha-- You broadcast for Hakeem Olajuwon, who is not only one of the all-time great players, who Shaq acknowledges I couldn't stop, and that's it. Because the last rebound he got with four seconds left?

So let me get this straight, on a January night in an 82-game schedule against the worst team in the league, Orlando, who is missing their best player, with Chris Paul out-- meaning you got every shot-- and a coach Mike D'Antoni that elevates every single guard he's ever had, that triple double was greater than anything Hakeem did?

Breaking news. The Houston Rockets TV announcers were high last night on the air.

WOMAN: Oh no.

ANNOUNCER: Breaking news.

- OK.


I know we live in the moment. I get it. I totally understand it. That was Orlando. Chris Paul was out. Mike D'Antoni is so guard friendly that he made Jeremy Lin the talk of the NBA when he was in New York. Steve Nash, a guy I love-- works out at my gym, name drop-- in Kobe's prime, in Shaq's prime, in Tim Duncan's prime, Mike D'Antoni made Steve Nash the MVP of the league.

In an era where the triple double has gone from 18 back in 2011 to 117 last year and on pace to break it this year, in a league there's no hand check, Chris Paul never played, 60 points, triple doubles, the greatest thing you've ever seen.

Let me give you another number for James Harden, cause this morning all the guys that used to be cool that cover the NBA and love the NBA have become baseball nerds. 39. How's that number? That's how many points James Harden lost to the Spurs at home last year in the final playoff game.

Here's another number. Two. The Spurs were missing their two best players, Kawhi and Tony Parker. Here's another number, 11. That's all the shots Harden took because he quit.

And oh, by the way, you know how baseball has WAR and VORP, I'll give you some. It's called TMZ. An hour after the game, TMZ spotted Harden at a nightclub. Yeah, that loss, it cut deep.

James Harden's a hell of a basketball player, and I'm happy for him. I really am. I'd love to have him on my team. He'll probably win the NBA's MVP. But you think last night's the night?

By the way, Golden State lost by 30 last night to the Utah Jazz. Should I declare this morning the Warriors are in a freefall? It's January. It's a night. Chris Paul didn't play. It's the worst team in the league. You're at home. The league now allows basically no hand checking. Guards are setting records weekly-- production, consumption, triple doubles.

The NBA was always cool, man. The arenas were cool. The nicknames were cool. The dunks were cool. The games were cool. The players were cool. They had nicknames and swag. And now, we've reduced it to, triple double, triple double. That's the greatest thing I've ever seen. It's a triple double.

Good god, what happened? I mean, think about this. Just think about this. Triple doubles are up like 400%.


Yeah, you like produce? How do you like them apples?

WOMAN: Oh gosh.

- OK. Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the greatest players in league history who completely dominated Shaq. I've been at some of those games. And that's it, the triple double? I mean, never forget that we celebrated NBA when you didn't have to be a three-point shooter to be great. They had a "30 for 30." Remember that one with Spike Lee on the Knicks and the Pacers? Remember that "30 for 30?" That's an all-time great one.

Remember what the score of those games were? I'll read them to you. 88-68, 83-77, 95-86, 94-90, 89-78. 28 NBA teams now average over 100 points a game. Scores in games regularly are 128-123. In the '80s, that was the All-Star Game. The All-Star Game now? 194-188.

Listen, Harden's great. But to say that locks in the MVP is like saying the Warriors losing by 31 to the Jazz last night has impact. None. And Harden, as great as he is, could never touch Hakeem Olajuwon.