Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey doubled-down on a controversial take that he had earlier this summer.
Last month during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, Morey stated that Rockets All-Star guard James Harden is a batter scorer than Michael Jordan — who is widely considered to be the greatest player in the NBA‘s history — was.
Morey, predictably, received a lot of flak for his take, but he hasn’t changed his mind, and on Thursday he took it even further by saying that Harden being a better scorer than Jordan is a fact, based on advanced statistics.
“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 #1 in NBA history, and he was #1 even at the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he was coming off the bench, it was a little more hidden.”
While Morey acknowledges that a valid counter-argument exists, he stands by the stats.
“The counter argument is reasonable,” Morey said. “They say if you put Michael Jordan on a team now, he would do more than James Harden. That’s possible. But if you’re just saying, like NBA history, if you give this guy the ball how much does his team score after you give him the ball before the other team gets the ball, it’s James Harden. And I know that makes people mad, but it’s literally a fact.”
You can see Morey’s comments below, via Rockets Insider Alykhan Bijani:
Comparing players from different eras is an inexact science, and it’s not surprising that Morey is riding for his guy. But at the end of the day, if you asked basketball fans who they would rather have on their team between Jordan and Harden if they need one basket to win a game, it’s safe to say that most would pick Jordan, regardless of what the stats say.