Is Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all-time? Yes, he sure is.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can save our anger that inevitably would be directed at Daryl Morey by Bulls fans.
In a recent interview appearance on Selfmade (via YouTube), Morey became the latest person to argue that a current NBA player is better than Jordan.
"It's just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan," Morey said. "You give James Harden the ball, and before you're giving up the ball how many points do you generate, which is how you should measure offense, James Harden is by far No. 1 in NBA history."
Daryl Morey: "It's just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan...You give James Harden the ball and before you're giving up the ball how many points do you generate, which is how you should measure offense, James Harden is by far #1 in NBA history." pic.twitter.com/91A9ij3wRc— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) August 15, 2019
Talk about a hot take. Let's review some numbers:
-Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game in 15 seasons; Harden has averaged 24.3 points in his 10 NBA seasons. However, Harden was the third option behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for three seasons before the Rockets acquired him.
-Jordan held a 49.7 field goal percentage (on 22.9 attempts/game, while Harden holds a 44.3 percentage on 16.2 attempts/game.
-Jordan converted 32.7 percent of his three-point attempts (on just 1.7 attempts/game), while Harden has converted 36.5 percent of his (on 7.3 attempts/game).
In fairness, Morey did acknowledge that if Jordan played in the NBA today, he could do "more" than Harden offensively. At the same time, the NBA is much more offensive-oriented today than it was when Jordan played, making his accomplishments that much more impressive. Harden still trails Jordan in the aforementioned categories despite playing in the league today, too.
So, factually, is Harden better than Jordan? No, but you can't blame Morey for trying to create positive spin around his franchise player. Both are elite, but there's only one true G.O.A.T.