Pippen on Rockets’ James Harden: ‘I’m impressed — to some degree.’

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

While James Harden has done a lot for the Houston Rockets, Scottie Pippen would like to see more accomplishments before putting him up there with the greats.

Individually, James Harden has done just about anything he can do for the Houston Rockets over the years. He’s on his way to leading the league in scoring for the third straight season and, as we’ve recently pointed out, is the very definition of the word valuable in the NBA.

His accolades are widely known and have been praised by many legends, yet even diehard fans of The Beard know there’s a glaring hole in his resume. That didn’t go unnoticed by six-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen when he was asked about what Harden has been accomplishing as of late.

After pointing out that James is guaranteed to average 30-plus points per game for the third straight year (something that was last done by Michael Jordan), Rachel Nichols asked Pippen about him on The Jump: “Are you impressed with that stat?” said Nichols.

“I’m impressed to some degree,” started Pippen. “Anytime you’re able to lead the league in scoring, kudos to you. But winning basketball is what it is [for] me. For Michael Jordan to be able to do it and win championships — I think that’s what separates his greatness from other players.”

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Given that Scottie had firsthand experience witnessing Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles, it’s expected that he would have such standards. It’s impossible to compare just about anyone to the greatest of all time. Still, there’s no denying that most players who have separated themselves into the upper echelon in NBA history have some championship pedigree.

Still, Pippen acknowledged what Harden has accomplished so far, even with a target on himself: “When you’re the leading scorer in this league, teams are coming at you night in and night out, trying to knock you off. So that’s a huge accomplishment itself,” said Pippen.

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In the end, however, Scottie would like to see some team success to solidify Harden’s place among the best players ever. “I want to see some titles [with] that,” said Pippen. “I want to see some Finals opportunities.”