Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden notably lacks a championship on his resume. When Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA Finals-clinching Game 6 win against the Phoenix Suns, folks were eager to get on Harden’s case.
And for good reason. Check out this audio from Harden, in which he strongly hints at how his game is far and away superior to the Greek Freak’s:
Harden did his best to win a championship as the No. 1, go-to guy on the Houston Rockets, but ultimately came up short. That led him to force a trade to Brooklyn, where he’s playing alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Per SportsCenter‘s official Twitter account, Giannis himself seemed to clap back at Harden when he took the podium after winning Finals MVP:
The implication here is that Harden is a sellout for joining forces with two other superstars, whereas Giannis remained loyal to Milwaukee, stayed on a supermax contract extension, built the team organically with Khris Middleton and ultimately won a championship.
Giannis getting it done for the Bucks is going to hold way more weight in NBA history than when Harden breaks through with Brooklyn. Heck, even the all-time great teammate of his, Durant, chased rings with the Golden State Warriors, which is a bad look compared to what Giannis just did.
Then again, if Durant’s toe hadn’t been on the 3-point line when the Nets squared off with Milwaukee in Round 2 of this year’s playoffs, we might be talking about a championship Brooklyn squad right now.
This is how fine the line can be in the NBA when it comes to legacy-defining moments. Considering Giannis’ trajectory, perpetual raising of his own ceiling as a player and classy professionalism, maybe Harden should’ve thought a little more before he spoke.
Like, who has a beef with Giannis? Why?
Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the best reactions that threw shade at Harden.