4. Giannis taking shots at Harden
What’s been one of the more bizarre things this season has been the beef that Giannis Antetokounmpo has had towards James Harden. It’s unusual because it’s been entirely one-sided as we’ve not heard Harden respond to any of the Greek Freak’s jabs.
It seems as if Giannis has been trying to poke the bear in hopes of getting Harden to respond, as he first commented about Harden not passing the ball, which doesn’t hold weight considering the fact that The Beard is ninth in both total assists and assists per game this season. Not to mention the fact that he’s finished within the top 10 in assists in each of the last six seasons also.
After Team Giannis was defeated by Team LeBron in the All-Star game, Giannis stated that the defensive strategy his team employed was to give the ball to whoever Harden was defending. Perkins had the below to say regarding the continuous jabs Giannis has thrown at Harden of late:
“I saw those comments and nobody scored on James so that [strategy] didn’t work. They tried to pick on James but nobody scored on him. Everytime he got the switch, he manned up and got a stop.
But Giannis has been lashing out at James. That’s the second slug he’s shot at James in the past week. The first time he said he didn’t pick James because he wanted somebody to pass him the ball. I’m like wow, you’re steady shooting slugs James’ way huh? I wonder if they’ve got some type of inside beef going on that we don’t know about.”
It is worth speculating whether there an inside beef going on between the two, because it’s not like there’s a rivalry between the Bucks and the Houston Rockets. They play in different conferences, different states, and Giannis and Harden play different positions.
If there is a beef Giannis has with Harden, its likely the fact that he was vocal about how he was robbed of the MVP award, which Giannis won. But the Bucks had multiple All-Stars on their team, as opposed to the Rockets, and they also play in a much easier conference also. On top of that, Harden was asked to do far more than Giannis, especially during that season.
Harden was able to single-handedly lift the Rockets into postseason play, thanks to the unguardable scoring tear he went on during the 2018-19 season. Hopefully for Giannis’s sake, he can get over whatever feud he has in his head.
Next: Could MDA really be back?