3. “Joke” Gone too Far?
Many believe the one-sided feud was just a matter of Giannis simply joking about Harden all along, and that he never really meant to disrespect Harden. In fact, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey stated that he didn’t believe the beef was a big deal, which is a belief many others have as well.
This is most understandable logic, as Giannis has no reason to have an ongoing beef with a player from a different conference, much less at a different position. Many believe Giannis was trying to play into the media’s narrative of Harden being a ball-hog and not applying any effort on the defensive end of the floor, which are two erroneous takes.
It’s also possible that Giannis was trying to agitate Harden until he got a response, which would be pathetic on the Greek Freak’s part, as there should be far better things for Giannis to do with his time. If Giannis was trying to poke the bear until he got the Houston Rockets superstar to say something, he got his wish.
With Harden responding to Giannis, it was clear that this joke had become no laughing matter, as Harden almost never responds to jabs thrown his way. Since Giannis was the sole reason this back and forth was continuing, it was the smart decision to fan the flames, as the joke had clearly gone too far.