Giannis Says James Harden Is the Hardest Player to Guard in the NBA on IG Live

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 27, 2020

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot while Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden may have engaged in a war of words around the All-Star break, but the reigning NBA MVP seems to respect the Houston Rockets star's ability to score. 

Answering fan questions on Instagram Live, Antetokounmpo called Harden the most difficult player to guard in the NBA. 

There's been a back-and-forth verbal battle between the two superstars dating back to last August when Harden told 97.9 The Box he didn't win the MVP award because of the media narrative

"I think once the media creates a narrative about somebody from the beginning of the year, I think they just take that narrative and run with it the entire year," he said.

Antetokounmpo seemed to escalate things during the All-Star draft in February when he passed on Harden by saying he wanted someone on his team "who's gonna pass the ball."

In a sit-down interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Harden criticized Antetokounmpo by saying all he does is "run and be seven feet (tall) and just dunk," adding, "I had to actually learn how to play basketball and how to have skill, you know?"

Despite their apparent differences, Antetokounmpo sounds like he's able to appreciate the difficulty of guarding a player who has led the NBA in scoring in three straight seasons, including this year when play was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.    

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