ESPN analyst Jalen Rose spoke on the media’s sudden craze towards Luka Doncic, by pointing out the Houston Rockets’ superstar backcourt’s resume.
Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic has drawn a considerable amount of praise from the media, following his game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. Doncic posted a triple double, as he had 36 points, 19 assists, and 14 rebounds, while flashing a pass reminiscent of Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.
Although Harden pulled off the exact same play in the Rockets’ opening night victory in the bubble against Luka’s Mavs, Harden’s pass seemed to be immediately deemed a bygone, as the national media suddenly began to suffer from memory loss.
I don't know that I've ever seen a between the legs *pocket pass* before.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) August 9, 2020
The Luka-Harden comparisons have been rampant all season, but they’ve especially been rekindled ever since Doncic’s performance on Saturday night. We’ve even heard Bill Simmons’ claim that Luka’s assists are somehow better than Harden’s, which is interesting because the Rockets have a better record than the Mavericks, which is ultimately what matters.
With the national media touting Luka as the innovator of the gaudy statline and foaming at the mouth over his performance Saturday night, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose offered a friendly reminder that Luka isn’t the first player to have such a performance. Rose was on NBA Countdown on Monday night and made sure to credit Houston Rockets superstar James Harden, while also inserting Russell Westbrook into the conversation, as well.
Jalen Rose sets record straight on Luka vs. Harden
“I’ve got some breaking news from Houston. James Harden’s been doing this. Let’s not act like James Harden hasn’t been giving us 50-point triple-doubles, and Russell Westbrook didn’t just average a triple-double two years ago now.”
As Rose noted, Harden has been putting up insane triple-doubles, including the below statlines:
- 53 points, 17 assists, 16 rebounds
- 51 points, 13 assists, 13 rebounds
- 60 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds
- 50 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds
- 50 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds
Harden has had at least four 40-point triple-doubles over the past two seasons also, but I think you get the point. Rose made an interesting point by including Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook in the conversation, as Westbrook has posted the below triple-doubles also:
- 51 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds
- 57 points, 11 assists, 13 rebounds
- 50 points, 10 assists, 16 rebounds
- 51 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds
At the end of the day, Doncic is obviously one of the league’s best talents, but there’s no reason to compare him to Harden, as he falls considerably short in that comparison. And if we’re crowning Luka Doncic for being the first to rack up the impressive triple-double, then Russell Westbrook deserves a mention also, like Rose states.
Let’s just give Doncic his credit and say he had a great game, because there’s no reason to bring anyone else down or downplay others who have accomplished more than Luka. In fact, that hurts his case.