James Harden Believes He Is the Best Basketball Player Alive

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2014

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If you asked anyone who the best basketball player alive is, most people will answer either LeBron James or Kevin Durant. James Harden's name probably doesn't come up in that conversation unless you are talking to Houston Rockets fans.

However, Harden has enough confidence in himself to say he believes he is the best player on the planet.

In an interview with ESPN.com's Scoop Jackson, the Rockets star was very blunt when asked who he thinks is the best player alive:

Scoop: Bottom line, you are on this team and a lot of players aren't, but in your mind, who is the best basketball player alive right now?

Harden: Myself.

Scoop: That's what I was about to say, "including you." You made that sound like it was an easy answer.

Harden: It is. Myself.

Not only does the 24-year-old believe he is the best player alive, but he also believes he hasn't come close to realizing his potential.

"Nowhere near close," Harden said. "I've got a long way to go, a lot of learning to do, improvements to make. Um, you know, as long as I'm listening and focused on the right things, I can reach my potential."

Those are some bold words. 

It's tough not to like a player who's wired that way. He's got sky-high confidence in his game but still believes he can get better. If he is correct in saying he has a lot of unfulfilled potential, Houston should be excited about the future.

Harden made sure he wasn't disrespecting the likes of James, Durant or Kobe Bryant. In the same interview, he revealed that he uses those guys as motivation to improve. He may believe he is the top player in the league, but he acknowledged, "until I get rings I can't say anything."

Harden has made the last two All-Star teams during his five-year career. Based on what he revealed in this interview, fans can expect him to represent the Western Conference's finest on many more occasions.