According to media outlets, there’s beef brewing between Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden. It began when Giannis, appearing on Charles Barkley’s NBA on TNT program, chose Kemba Walker to be on his All-Star team over Harden. When Barkley asked Giannis why he made the choice the answer was simple, “I want somebody that’s going to pass the ball.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 7, 2020
The exchange was lighthearted, but Harden didn’t find it funny. In an interview with ESPN’s The Jump Harden addressed Giannis’ comments and threw shade on Walker’s abilities on the court, “I averaged more assists than (Walker) I think. I don’t see what the joke is. But I didn’t even see it, I don’t pay attention to stuff like that. I just know that none of them can mess with me.
I wish I could just run and be seven feet and just dunk. Like, that takes no skill at all. I gotta actually learn how to play basketball and how to have skill. I’ll take that any day.”
But from Giannis’ perspective, it’s a one-way feud, saying he doesn’t hold against grudge against Harden, ”There hasn’t been a back and forth. Like I’m not the type of guy—I never try to take stabs at somebody. Maybe sometimes it might come out like that, but I’m definitely not. I’m just trying to do my job, which is win games and go back home to my family … At the end of the day, if that’s what he believes, that’s what he believes. I can’t say anything about it. I’ve just got to keep being focused.”
Giannis’ younger brother, Kostas, thinks the media is purposely trying to pit Harden and his brother against each other, writing in a now deleted Twitter post, “Why is the media turning NBA superstars against each other is that what sells? #biggerthanbasketball.”
Kostas is probably right.