Steph Curry is the face of the Golden State Warriors. He’s a two-time MVP and three-time NBA champion who changed the way the sport of basketball is played.
One of Curry’s main rivals over the years is James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Harden has put up huge scoring numbers, averaging 36.1 points per game in 2018-19, the highest since Michael Jordan. The 30-year-old Harden was on pace to win his third straight scoring title before the coronavirus shutdown, averaging 34.4 points per game.
Former NBA player, and current analyst Kendrick Perkins was asked who was better out of Curry and Harden during an appearance on ESPN’s First Take and had this to say:
“When I’m looking at the all-around player and who brings more to the table, it’s James Harden”
Kendrick Perkins says James Harden is a better player than Stephen Curry— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 25, 2020
“As soon as he stepped foot into the Rockets’ franchise, he made that franchise relevant again.”
( ESPN First Take) pic.twitter.com/iTY6EpszLy
Perkins — who is known for some ridiculous takes — then doubled down and defended himself on Twitter:
Again the only thing Steph does better than James is shoot the Basketball. James Harden is the better All Around Player. That’s facts.— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 25, 2020
The folks at Fox Sports put together a nice graphic comparing Curry and Harden’s numbers since entering the league as rookies in 2009-10.
The most important number is the bottom one. Curry and the Warriors have taken out the Harden-led Rockets four times in the playoffs since 2015. What Perkins fails to point out is that Harden only started putting up eye-popping scoring numbers once head coach Mike D’Antoni implemented an offensive system that has him having the ball in his hands a majority of the time. Harden had a 40.5 usage percentage in 2018-19, while Curry’s was 30.4 last season. If Curry was playing in a system similar to Harden’s, his numbers would likely be just as high.
Curry is also one of eight players to put up a 50-40-90 season in NBA history, when he shot better than 50% from the field, 40% from the 3-point line, and hit more than 90% of his free throws during the 2015-16 season.
Again, I am taking Curry over Harden all day. Steph was the best player on a title-winning team in 2015 and was the center piece of the 2016 Dubs squad that lost in the NBA Finals. Harden hasn’t led Houston past the Western Conference Finals. The deciding factor for me is always championships. Curry has gotten the job done, while Harden has failed.
What do you think Perk’s comments?
On to some more links:
Golden State has been a juggernaut since Joe Lacob took over as majority owner in 2010. Weston Blai of Market Watch looked back at the bidding process that saw Lacob get the Dubs.
We have heard many stories about where Curry could have landed during the 2009 Draft. Paul Kasabian of Bleacher Report looks back at one rumor that the Knicks wanted to trade up to take the point guard.
Draymond Green is a great trash talker. Pavni Ahuja of Essentially Sports revisited the time Green shut up a future NBA Hall of Famer.
What are some of the best trades the Dubs have made over the last 20 seasons? Grant Liffman of NBC Bay Area went back and ranked them from Nos. 1 through 7.