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Houston Rockets debate: Did Paul George throw shade at James Harden?

Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is congratulated by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 of the Los Angeles Clippers is congratulated by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The Case for Paul George

Josh Paredes: Understanding that James Harden gets a lot of unnecessary hate as it stands, I don’t see Paul George’s statement as particularly coming after him in this case. I can certainly see a point of view where the word “just” when he said, “That’s not my knack, is just to shoot the ball,” can be taken as a dig, but I think that might be reading too much into it.

It’s hard for me to see a motive for Paul George to take such a random shot at James Harden during a postgame interview after facing another team. I could be wrong, but I can’t recall a time in which the two have squabbled or had beef on or off the court.

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The key phrase to listen for in George’s statement is when he says, “I’m no James Harden.” No one ever says, “I’m no (fill in the blank)” unless they’re discussing someone better than them in something.

For example: “I’m no Gordon Ramsay, but I can still cook a decent filet mignon.” You don’t really see people saying that phrase the other way around.

Paul also says that his “knack” isn’t to shoot and score the ball. When people have a knack for something, it usually means they’re naturally gifted at doing that thing.

As he demonstrated with his 3-of-16 shooting performance and just 11 points in a crucial playoff game, he doesn’t really have the automatic ability to put up 30 points every night like Harden.

Considering the question was about his ability to do things other than scoring, I think George just thought of the best scorer he could think of on the spot, which was James Harden.

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Where do you stand on the issue? Was George intentionally taking a shot at Harden, or have his words been misinterpreted? Feel free to let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

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