Stop the presses. Draymond Green and Charles Barkley disagree on something.
Green appeared on TNT’s pregame show Saturday, and after they revealed the 2019-20 MVP finalists, Barkley made the case that Houston Rockets guard James Harden is the best scorer in NBA history.
“Y’all laughed at me. Everybody laughed at me a couple years ago,” Barkley said. “I said [Harden] is the best offensive player. He’s not as great of a player as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but this guy here, might be the greatest offensive player we’ve ever had because, as great as Michael and Kobe were, they weren’t 3-point shooters. This guy is a better 3-point shooter … ”
Co-host Kenny Smith interjected and referenced Bryant’s 81-point game.
“I think James Harden could get 80 in a game,” Barkley said. “If he went out and just ‘I’m going to get 80.’ ”
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That’s when Green jumped into the conversation.
“But does James score like that back then when y’all were playing and fouls weren’t called the same way they’re called today?” Green asked.
“I did use that caveat: In today’s game, he’s the greatest scorer I’ve ever seen,” Barkley responded. “It’s a different game, but he’s the best we got offensively today.”
Barkley, Smith and host Ernie Johnson tried to steer the conversation back to the MVP debate, but Green reverted back to the “best scorer ever” chat.
“Kevin Durant’s the best scorer, by the way,” Green said. “The best scorer ever. Not even close. No disrespect to James, but Kevin Durant is the best scorer ever.”
“That’s fair,” Barkley said. “I don’t agree with you.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 8, 2020
That’s some high praise from Green for his former teammate. Green played a big part in convincing Durant to sign with the Warriors in 2016, but their relationship soured after an on-court argument in Los Angeles during the 2018-19 season.
Regardless of the relationship between Green and Durant, the current Warriors forward has a point. Yes, Jordan, Bryant and Harden have put together some of the best single-season scoring numbers, but Durant is so unique in the ways he can score. We’ve never seen anything quite like the four-time NBA scoring champ.
Durant is lethal from the 3-point line, he can post up and score at will on the block and he can get to the rim whenever he wants.
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Green never played against Jordan, but he grew up watching Bryant and faced him his final few seasons in the league, he’s gone up against Harden in the NBA playoffs several times over the last few years, and he’s played with and against Durant.
As one of the premier defenders in the NBA, Green would know better than anyone who the best scorers in the league are. If he says Durant is the best, a lot of weight should be put into those words.