Skip Bayless reveals why he disagrees with D’Antoni that Harden is the ‘best offensive player ever’

Video Details

Skip Bayless explains to Chris Broussard, Shannon Sharpe and Joy Taylor why he disagrees with Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni's comment that James Harden is the 'best offensive player he’s ever seen'. Skip explains how Harden's offense doesn't compare to all-time NBA greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

- I do not blame D'Antoni for saying this about his superstar. I wouldn't blame him if he said that right now James Harden is a better offensive player than Michael Jordan was in his prime or Kobe Bryant was in his prime. But James Harden is not a better offensive player than either of those two.

Because let's just do assassin mentality that Michael Jordan had. Let's do mamba mentality that Kobe had. Let's just do a hypothetical one-on-one game-- those two would terrorize James Harden in a one-on-one game. They would tear him apart-- psychologically, mental toughness. Because we have seen James disappear many times in the post-season.

He is not-- James Harden-- the offensive force that Shaq was or Kareem was or Wilt was in their primes just because he's 6'5", and they were giants in the game who dominated.

But, I will agree with one point that D'Antoni made that at least puts James Harden in this conversation. It's the new lethal weapon in basketball that Michael Jordan just didn't really care about, because it wasn't emphasized. Kobe started to at the end of his career, but not like James does. And it is the step-back 3 off the dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble. Because he'll dribble 20 times, and then he will step back, and he is making 38% of his 3's this year and 37% for his career. That's pretty great.


SKIP BAYLESS: So all of a sudden, that's the great equalizer here, where he has great slither to him. He gets by people with sort of effortless quickness that I-- it's almost like quicker than the eye, because he doesn't look that quick to me. But he gets by people, and he can finish with both hands at the rim. So that makes him very difficult to guard.

But again, on just psychology, the assassin's mentality, I can't put him in the same conversation with Jordan or--

- The thing I like about Harden is he's reminding us that this is a game of skill. Since Michael Jordan we felt like the best player had to be the most athletic. And Magic wasn't the most athletic.


- Bird wasn't the most athletic.


- Oscar was big and strong, but he wasn't--

SKIP BAYLESS: Yeah, I didn't see that, no.

- --a high-flyer or anything like that. Harden is like that. He's just greatly skilled, and he's, as you said, he's crafty and all that. He's smart. He is tremendous. I would throw LeBron, I think offensively, better than him. I even would say Steph is. And--

SKIP BAYLESS: You know what? When you're a career 44% 3-point shooter? (WHISPERS) Wow.

- Yep. Now, here's the thing people are missing-- and I think Harden should be-- I think he should be a unanimous MVP. Because I don't see how you put anybody ahead of him this year. But what D'Antoni-- I don't want to say is missing, because like you said, he's backing his player-- this system makes guy-- it takes you to another level offensively-- your numbers.

Steve Nash, with all due respect, I don't even think he would be a Hall of Famer that he's going to be if he hadn't gone to Mike D'Antoni's system--

SHANNON SHARPE: No question about it.

SKIP BAYLESS: I would agree with that.

- --let alone two-time MVP. Chris Duhon looked very good in this system.


- Ray Felton averaged 17 and 9 for Mike D'Antoni. Jeremy Lin's two-month run of dominance--


- --was under Mike D'Antoni. So you put James Harden in this system, who's better than any of those guys, and that is where this extra uptick has come from.

I would love to see Chris Paul by himself in this system. I think his numbers would be huge. If you put Steph or LeBron-- Steph's a great passer-- Steph or LeBron or even KD, put the ball in his hands in this system--

SHANNON SHARPE: LeBron would average 15 assists a night, in this system.