James Harden is without a doubt one of the greatest players to ever slip on a Houston Rockets jersey. Perhaps it is too soon to ask, but one of fan’s favorite questions is where their favorite players rank among their team’s all-time greats.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In Houston, the most revered athlete of any sports organization is Hakeem Olajuwon. Olajuwon singlehandedly put two teams on his back, and brought the only two men’s major professional sports championships to the city of Houston. While it is unlikely that Harden will ever reach Olajuwon’s status, he may be able to fall in line behind Olajuwon as the second greatest Rocket of all time.
Harden’s stiffest competition among Rockets greats is former Rocket, Moses Malone. As a Rocket, Malone was a two-time MVP, a four-time All-NBA selection, and led Houston to a finals appearance during the 1980-81 season, where they lost to the Boston Celtics. Malone is also the Rockets all-time single-season leader in rebounds per game. Needless to say, Harden still has a way to go to catch up with Malone’s illustrious career.
You may be asking, what about Drexler? Or McGrady? Or even Barkley? While all of those players may have been better than Harden, I am focusing on what each player accomplished while in a Rockets’ uniform.
James Harden’s 2014-15 season was one for the books. Not only did he lead an injured team to the Western Conference finals while finishing second in MVP voting, but he also became the Rockets all-time single-season leader in win shares, win shares per 48 minutes, and box score plus/minus. Outside of Olajuwon and Malone, Harden has had more of an impact on a Rockets team than any other player.
As of now, Malone comfortably fills the number two spot on the list of Rockets greats, but if Harden can find a way to take his game even further during the next couple of seasons, it is safe to say that Harden has a good shot of passing Malone on that list.
What do you guys think? Where does Harden rank among all-time Rockets greats? Let us know!
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