Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni Says James Harden Is “Probably The Best Offensive Player Of All Time”
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni made a pretty bold claim about James Harden in a recent interview that is sure to spark more than a few debates among basketball fans in the coming days.
According to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, Mike D’Antoni says Harden, the presumptive 2017-18 NBA MVP, is “probably the best offensive player of all time.”
That’s no small statement. Mike D’Antoni has witnessed a lot of basketball talent first hand. He’s coached Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony in the NBA. He’s coached LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis in the Olympics. As a 67-year-old man, he certainly remembers watching the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But when it comes to pure offensive talent, he says Harden is the best.
“My husband is in looove with James Harden,” says D’Antoni’s wife, Laurel, in the Bleacher Report profile. “I mean, I would like to have a little bit of that love that he’s giving James Harden in my household. But I understand why. Because Mike said he’s the best offensive player he’s ever, ever, ever coached.”
D’Antoni became famous for the high-tempo run-and-gun offense he implemented as coach of the Phoenix Suns in the mid-2000s. However, the 2017-18 Rockets ranked 14th in the NBA in pace and no. 1 in isolation plays.
He tells Beck he never would have imagined he’d be coaching the way he is now, but the unparalleled talent of James Harden has forced his hand.
“Oh no. I would be surprised that I’m coaching like this,” D’Antoni says. “But I think that’s the brilliance of our players.”
“We got the best iso guy in the world,” D’Antoni says of Harden. “And that’s why we do it. I think every point guard plays at their comfort level, where they’re most effective, and we just mold everything around that.”
Let the debates begin!
Hat Tip – [Bleacher Report]