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James Harden and Giannnis Antetokounmpo: two MVPs, one feud.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 16: James Harden # 2 of Team LeBron dribbles the ball while being supervised by Giannis Antetokounmpo # 24 of Team Giannis in the fourth quarter during the 69th NBA All-Star Game at the United Center on February 16, 2020 in Chicago. , Illinois. USER NOTE: You expressly acknowledge and agree that by downloading and using this photograph, you agree to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo: Beef All-Stars.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo are unconventional rivals. Unless they meet in the NBA finals, Harden’s Rockets and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks will only face each other twice this season. They don’t match positionally and their unique play styles make it seem like they’re participating in completely different sports. (Giannis requires stilts.) They could also live on separate planets, but, fortunately for us, they have bridged the big gap to engage in some rather sassy beef here on Earth.

In a interview with Harden last weekESPN’s Rachel Nichols came up with something that Giannis said while selecting players in the All-Star project. During that televised event, the attacking Bucks chose Harden, jokingly, “I want someone to pass the ball.” (Charles Barkley, a few moments earlier, had called Harden “the dribbler”.)

Harden was not amused.

“I think on average more assists than I think,” he told Nichols. “I don’t see what the joke is.”

Here’s where I might be able to help. The joke is that Harden is the dominant talismanic star on the ball of a team that makes the second least number of passes in the league. Include the fact that he averages 7.3 assists per game – which is more than Walker (5.0) or, moreover, Giannis (5.8) – should have taken a step forward. It’s not a side splitter, anyway, but Harden wouldn’t even admit it’s a rib. Instead of chuckling, the 2018 MVP immediately shot the 2019 MVP.

“I wish I could be 7 feet, run and just crush. This doesn’t require any skills, “said Harden.” I really have to learn to play basketball and have skills. I’ll take it every day. ”

Personally I wouldn’t be offended if someone said that I make everything seem easy because I have such a supernatural talent. However, in a league that often trades in small insults, Harden’s jab is a real insult.

Giannis acknowledged the feud ahead of Milwaukee’s Friday game against Oklahoma City Thunder, saying, “I’m not that kind of guy. I never try to stab. … I’m just trying to do my job, that is, win leave, and then go home to my family and my son. ” MVP NBA: just like us. (Well, those of us who can crush and have children.)

In just 27 minutes of action against Thunder, Giannis had 32 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists. It was his usual dominant self … or so it seemed. During a scoring burst, the reigning MVP made some ingenious moves and unleashed a complicated fadeaway jumper, the kind of thing a person who is not a 7 foot must do to score.

Could it be that Giannis decided to give up his usual superhuman talents to prove that Harden is wrong? Are you wearing a kryptonite cape just to make a point? Is he Harrison Bergeron himself? Maybe, but it’s still drenching people with relative ease.

After the 133-86 outbreak, Giannis defended his playing style. “My game is certainly not just power. I entered when I was 18, I was 180 pounds, so power with the big guys was a bit difficult, “he said.” I try to work on my game, on medium shots, on 3 seconds, being able to do screen-and- roll faster and make the right pass. It is difficult to drive at full speed and try to make the right pass when cornering. “We verify that:

It still seemed easy enough.

While Giannis can say he is not disturbed by Harden’s comments, he continued to play like a despised MVP on Sunday. In Milwaukee’s victory over the Charlotte Hornets, he scored 41 points and took 20 rebounds. Sometimes, he even resorted to the skill.

Since Harden is light, Giannis averages 36.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and at least 3 “Oh no, please never insult this man again” per game.

Meanwhile, with fresh meat in our minds, Harden has also had a chance to go against the stereotype during a national television game this weekend. The Rockets played the Boston Celtics on Saturday, and the guard had to work hard for each shot. He went 7-24 from the field for 21 points, not exceptional, but his scoring skills have never been in doubt. Giannis had compromised his overtaking ability, so it was time for Harden to prove that he could put it on as he takes it. The results have been mixed.

However, Harden had 8 assists (which was not one of them), and the Rockets won 111-110 in overtime.

The immediate evidence leads us to believe that both players are wrong. harden can he move on, and had a little more assistance than usual this weekend. Similarly, Giannis seems to have achieved the transcendence of basketball in addition to the gift of wingless flight. Clearly, this was only a big misunderstanding.

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