James Harden, not Kevin Durant, will succeed LeBron as the world's best - Stephen A. | First Take

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Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Will Cain debate which NBA superstar is bound to surpass LeBron James as the world's best player. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are among the mentions, but Stephen A. claims this title belongs to James Harden, especially if he is dominant in the 2019 NBA playoffs.
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Published on


Apr 16, 2019

kevin durantjames hardenlebron jamesgiannisgiannis antetokounmpokawhi leonardstephen astephen a smithnba playoffsnba mvp2019 nba mvpgiannis harden mvpnba mvp racejames harden mvpgolden state warriorshouston rocketslos angeles lakersmilwaukee bucksnba postseasonnba news2019 nbanba finalswestern conference playoffseastern conference playoffsnba goatstephen a james hardenkdlebronlakerswill cainmax kellermannbaespn




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Comments 2 183
bigboat 18 days ago
this take is fitting considering he choked
Sisouda Onesiphone
Sisouda Onesiphone 22 days ago
If Harden don't flop all the damn time,, people will respect him more.. Its hard watching the rockets and the flop brothers play..
Jordon Jackson
Jordon Jackson Month ago
Lebron ass...... he’ll never have the skill set Kobe possessed
based god
based god Month ago
Yall acting like theres not magnets in the rim helping these players score. Yall might care about the players but the owners care about the money coming in. Steph curry, james harden both brought in money because of the shooting.
based god
based god Month ago
What a joke. KD gets overshadowed because of how great his team is. Wait untill hes the leader of a team next season. James harden is a bum all he can do is score. James harden took 2010 carmelo wee spot. Not the torch that Kobe and MJ and Bird carried.
Albuggy186 Month ago
Dead wrong kd the best player been 4 a while he want to a 73 win team but they lossed he gave them 2 more rings maybe 3 rings do u guys no how tuff it is to play with other stars like curry and still be great not taken a notch down in fact he the leader of that team curry the face cause of kd they are reverlant...
TACE9182 Month ago
This faggit is a crackhead, KD is the best player in the world CURRENTLY
Emery Wolf
Emery Wolf Month ago
Lmao he's saying KD gets brownie points because he works in what is literally the most effective team basketball system ever organized? You sure it's not just maybe - and hear me out hear - because he joined a 73 win team?
Dyanne Rocco Ilaria
Nope. All wrong. Its Giannis. He just mainly needs to work on his jumpshot. Just like LeBron had to.
James hasn't played defense since he got drafted but he the best player in the world only on ESPN would they say hey you know whos getting better the kid that's 10 years younger than him 😭 well duh Jordan didnt get better on the wizards shaq didnt get better on Cleveland 🤦
Anthony Celestin
The narrative of Harden is getting old, he made clutch defensive plays in Game 5
Dylan Reynolds
Dylan Reynolds Month ago
Although KD went to a winning system, he took the crown from lebron two years ago no matter how you slice it. Golden State really didn’t prove anything to the nba if we’re looking at it objectively before he arrives. You could argue golden state won in 2015 because of an injured Cavs team, and Stephen curry and Klay and then couldn’t close the deal in 2016 like real champs would. KD was the answer to their troubles. If lebron was really the greatest like blind witnesses are attesting to, then he would’ve beaten KD before KD ever even tried to beat him, but he didn’t. So let’s stop kidding ourselves- KD is the best although Steph changed the game in recent years
iliketrains + apples
goes 3-20 on fg in game 3 lol
Douglas McArthur
Y’all keep disrespecting Lebron, He’ll be back next season. He gone put on a show too
Marcel Planter
Marcel Planter Month ago
His hairline has gone to far this time.....
James harden is really the best player rn I’m glad I’ve been a fan for awhile
Max 117
Max 117 Month ago
Going off the eye test, Kawhi is the best player. The media just doesn't cover him because of the Tim Duncan syndrome lol. He's too damn quiet, boring, etc. Second is either Curry or Harden due to sheer impact. You're never out of the game when those guys are on fire. They're deadly as all hell. As much as KD wants to be #1, I just can't give it to him considering he's never been tasked with carrying a team. It's not easy. This whole idea he's "unguardable" is true only because defenses can't double him. Curry and Klay make that literally impossible. LeBron may get a lot of hate, but damn, I remember his early Cavs days where he tore those Pistons a new asshole every single year. That Pistons team could never handle him and they are widely considered to be an airtight team defensively. That's being "unguardable."
Charlie Barnes
Charlie Barnes Month ago
Harden has one move, double step back 3
nabil chowdhury
nabil chowdhury Month ago
Cmon WILLLLLL, Ummmm, Giannis is going to be the best player after Lebron FOH MY GUY. And when he gets a jumper, he’s gonna have the potential to be the GOAT. I mean 6’11”, 245 lbs, 7’3” wingspan, ~40” vert, can cover half court in one dribble, is one of the fastest in the league, and can do everything on the court possible other than shoot consistently, and he’s already going to be the best, once he gets a shot.......Issa wrap.
Amiladen Mabaning
James Harden has been proving it for 5 season consecutive. He is the new best player in the world..
Ze- Mane
Ze- Mane Month ago
I got giannis because he can carry a team AND he can do everything on the court.. he jus need a consistent jump shot
Ralphunreal Month ago
KD and Kawhi are way better than Harden.
Jah Gideon aka westyute
Max is bad mind everytime you open your false mouth you talk bad things about KD but remember he is the Emperor of the game and you gonna have live with it ontill it killed you .
Dr. Nathan Thomas
James Harden is a stat chaser and nobody likes him
santiago sanchez
molly needs to shut the hell up
Tre1000 Month ago
There’s so much to consider when comparing and ranking players like lebron, harden, kd, curry, kawhi, and giannis. There’s no definitive answer as to who’s the “best” player
Brogeta Blue
Brogeta Blue Month ago
NO ONE CARES ABOUT CARRYING YOUR TEAM ! I could take a bench team to the finals if I'm the only one shooting and a btb mvp
Jacob Graves
Jacob Graves Month ago
Agree bro. Dude wasn't best in world in '12 after Heat series, or '14 when they blew a big series lead to the team he joined. Joins the best backcourt of all time and now is best in world, nah chief. That ain't it
Lil Toon
Lil Toon Month ago
iGetBuckets Month ago
lol.... the disrespect is crazy
Tha Huncho
Tha Huncho Month ago
Will Cain hit it right on the nail
TJ The 90s KID
TJ The 90s KID Month ago
Man don’t disrespect Steph like that man.steoh did his thing n now he’s enjoying the fruits of his labor so don’t act like steoh ain’t never carried his team
ants in my eyes johnson
Chef Curry and it ain't even close yall need to quit
Dylan Reynolds
Dylan Reynolds Month ago
ants in my eyes johnson changing the game Steph is important but even though that KD is still amazing
Mark Law
Mark Law Month ago
The klaw KaWow is the best player on the planet. 2. KD 3. Chef curry 4. The beard 5. The Greek Freak 6. Dame Time 7. PG13 8. CP3 9. The king 10. AD
Mark Law
Mark Law Month ago
@Joshua Leigh Kawhi hasn't. You're proving my point for me.
Joshua Leigh
Joshua Leigh Month ago
@Mark Law So did every superstar in the nba no body is perfect and when i say everyone im talking about everyone kd blew a 3-1 lead warrios blew a 3-1 lead pg and westbrook just choked Lebron choked to dallas cp3 choked in confrence finals (clippers Harden choked game 7 of last year) much more times but evereyone chokes
Mark Law
Mark Law Month ago
@Joshua Leigh LeBron chocked at important moments. Winners don't do that. You wait and see when he retires. He will be left by the wayside.
Joshua Leigh
Joshua Leigh Month ago
Mark Law he’ll no you must be crazy steph curry has a super team so LEBRONS already better then every single person on the warriors, that’s what your trying to say and lebron accomplished wayyy more then everyone on this list
Mark Law
Mark Law Month ago
@Joshua Leigh yes. You are all about what the media tells you. Would LeBron have won without Ray Allen and Kyrie Irving? James talks a lot to the media that's why you think he is great. Chef Curry is more of a legend than LeBron.
Charity Gines
Charity Gines Month ago
Yes Cain!
eddiezamora1986 Month ago
Kd is not the best..he went to a easy system that was already winning Yall are crazy. Not saying he isnt good but he has never carried a team by him self. He has it easy now.
Shreyas Saride
Shreyas Saride Month ago
Disrespecting Giannis.
Thomas_Deckard Month ago
One year of KD with the usage rate of James Harden will settle the debate. A 42ppg 7rbd 6ast 1stl .5blk season in Gotham City can silence all the noise. Max said it. He can't do this with the Warriors he needs to be the main focal point where the system revolves around him. Question is. Does he want it though? As a fan it would be amazing to see. Only time will tell.
Matthew Anthony
Matthew Anthony Month ago
KD has always been better!!
Dylan Reynolds
Dylan Reynolds Month ago
Mattie Anthony yes thank you! I actually prefer KD over lebron as the nba era face right now. Steph changed the game but KD is the face because he overcame his demons proving lebron has never really been the best
danie lacuesta
danie lacuesta Month ago
that means lebum really needs another superstar player to win championship..becuz..lebum cant do by him self...#overrated
danie lacuesta
danie lacuesta Month ago
lebum d goat..wtf
Joshua Leigh
Joshua Leigh Month ago
danie lacuesta shut the hell up all the other players have another all star or superstar lebron had clevland kevin love barely showed up and was this close in game 1 to winning
Briskful Punishment
Remember when we thought the cavs were a super team and the warriors were underdogs? Anyone can win a ring they just have to put in the effort
The Gamer Killavellz
its crazy, lebron so great dominated so long, these young players had to wait until they hit 30's to be acknowledged and team up to beatem
D Carv
D Carv Month ago
Harden is not and shouldn’t be MVP at all. MVP stands for most valuable player NOT most valuable offense I’ve player or defensive... he can score 40 with 30 shots and let players score 20-30 points on him.. I wouldn’t NEVER want harden startling bc of his D dense. Giannis is mvp with KD.
Goatmelo Anthony
Seeing how last this played out last time with curry LeBron will be the best player in the world again next season and will win a championship next season not a LeBron fan this just happens almost every time people call out LeBron
Verstealious Month ago
I dont remember Dellavedova retiring??? Smh 😤
JaM EvolvE
JaM EvolvE Month ago
I can’t wait for LeBron to come back because you mfs clearly forgot
JaM EvolvE
JaM EvolvE Month ago
I’m done with this shit
WestcountyWill Month ago
1. Curry 2. LeBron 3. Durant 4. Giannis 5. Kawhi Harden isn't even in the top 5 and Curry already replaced LeBron as #1.
WestcountyWill Month ago
@Carlos Pacheco I do and Curry rarely even guards Harden. Curry also cooks Harden. Scoring on someone consistently doesn't mean you're a better player than them it just means they aren't good at guarding you. Harden isn't good at guarding Curry either. Almost all the advanced statistics favor Curry because he is the better player.
Carlos Pacheco
Carlos Pacheco Month ago
I’m not arguing watch the games
WestcountyWill Month ago
@Carlos Pacheco wow great argument.
Carlos Pacheco
Carlos Pacheco Month ago
WestcountyWill harden cooks curry
Ali Pour
Ali Pour Month ago
Kawhi all day everyday, great on offense and defense!
Bailey Month ago
Will needs to be permanent moderator... the guy know how to take care of his business. The show runs much more smoothly and cohesively when Cowboys Apologist Jr, is at the conductor's podium.
Geo Green
Geo Green Month ago
What has Giannis proved in the playoffs? Sample size is too small
Marlon Hall
Marlon Hall Month ago
Without Steph KD loses. It’s that simple
B2 Month ago
James harden the best? Lololololol of what, crying and traveling? Best joke of 2019 ESPN, keep it up 🤣
rodsheed ducasse
What I find crazy is when the conversation was about Kd passing LeBron they found every reason for him not to be better, but they're ready to give it to Harden for nothing Harden is a great player but the media is just on some nonsense!
pauljohn0001 Month ago
Giannis is the best he plays both sides of the court. James Harden just shoots 3 and travels.
Marvin Brown
Marvin Brown Month ago
Like pippen said presure him take him out his comfort zone hell quite no quite in kd
Robbo Month ago
Harden > Curry > KD > Giannis
J B TV Month ago
So steph doesn’t exist, the media is so full of the moment like KD and James are pretty much fighting for 2nd place. It’s funny as much as we get on Max he’s the only person that always bring steph name in the convo. The media literally makes me sick sometimes.
Mike B
Mike B Month ago
Any homeless from the street can win a ring with gsw. Durant can't carry crap on his own.
jamar reuben
jamar reuben Month ago
I hate when will Cain speaks, max already shut down the two finals mvp argument with the kwahi and Paul George comparison.
Quawn DaGent
Quawn DaGent Month ago
James harden will be the greatest offensive player in the League but Greek Freak Will be the best all around player
zPure_-TalentYT Month ago
How is Curry not the Greatest ever he beat bron with his brother klay
Wali Hamid
Wali Hamid Month ago
Noooooo Kevin Durant is better and it will stay that way, you just don’t have to try as hard when you’re on a loaded team.
SpiralC0nfiG jr
SpiralC0nfiG jr Month ago
Nah KD the better player .... He integrates well and can play in different systems ..... More importantly can run different systems .... Great energy on both ends of the courts ..... He is a dream come true for a coach who wants his team to play methodical basketball ..... I may not know much basketball but I know as much that it ain't a one player game
SpiralC0nfiG jr
SpiralC0nfiG jr Month ago
GSW as a whole are having a lot of turn-overs if you trust me I think they are on to something that's going to revolutionize NBA ..... It's similar to Jokic through ball but whole of GSW is doing that
Arnell Month ago
Why do they keep saying KD wants to be the known as the best in the league, when he keeps saying he doesn't. He doesn't care who media thinks is the best lol he's said it a million times
Cam Deshawn
Cam Deshawn Month ago
Anthony Davis not In the conversation?
Without KD I think they would not beat harden they just barley struggle
Gregory Robinson
If KD transition to The NY Knicks - The Big 🍎 brings 🏆 championship.....There's no doubt that KD will overshadow Lebron...KD will be in the NBA History 📖 📚. Although Harden deserves to be I.D. 👌.
Khari Rollock
Khari Rollock Month ago
Wish molly was more like how Keri used to be...just start the convo then shuttup lol she always tries to disrespect max
NappyBoy CAB
NappyBoy CAB Month ago
When it's all said and done Boyz will finally give harden his props, it's like when u die no one recognize the greatness till u r dead and gone smh give this man his roses and credit now while he here and still balling
Luis Salazar
Luis Salazar Month ago
I hate the not-Max white dude
Maddtrucker love
Warriors gave game away being goofy.. Harden is the most elite player right now.. KD second or third.. Greek Freak the Roman God.
Sean Ingram
Sean Ingram Month ago
Another asinine, idiotic, ridiculous "Best in the World" topic. They'll even stratify them like: 1-LBJ, 2-KD, 3-Kawhi, 4-Da Beard, etc...Like these guys have view of the ballin' prowesses of the 7+ billion people on this planet (narrow down the demographic: male, 25-32, we're talking 10-20 million?) I'd take the field over any of these kats. And how do you determine "the best" individual of a TEAM played sport? It's stupid. Hottest anything or anybody in USA is the hottest on Earth. Another example of the simultaneous arrogance/ignorance of my fellow Americans in full effect.
SandstormMc Month ago
Molly ass
Michael Mayers
Michael Mayers Month ago
Harden is taller than Steph so it makes more sense to have him
Dave Month ago
KD once he goes to a different team will clearly be the man until Giannis becomes the top dog.
yelenab11 Month ago
Stephen A. continuously makes random statements that nobody holds him responsible for. His sensationalism is what promotes him; however, barely any of his predictions ever come to life. His actual credibility, considering accuracy of his predictions, should be an absolute ZERO. Terrible commentator
james methu
james methu Month ago
Steph Curry?????
Cash Money
Cash Money Month ago
Y'all better leave Kd alone before he start dropping 50 a game he ran LeBron to the Lakers cus he got tired of losing don't forget that .
Νικος Νικαια
Both are nothing infront of giannis
Gamer Guy Joe
Gamer Guy Joe Month ago
Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the face of the NBA over Harden or KD. #FearTheDeer 😤🦌🏀
José Ortiz
José Ortiz Month ago
Greek can’t shoot lol
Hassan salad
Hassan salad Month ago
Yeah some day. Once that 3pt percentage is at like 30-35% he'll be unstoppable no cap
Cj Lewis
Cj Lewis Month ago
If James harden was 6”9 6”10 would there be any discussion people go crazy over physical appearance
Kookie Month ago
Curry is under appreciated because KD snake ass joined em. 😂😂 When curry was leading his team to 73 wins that year averaging 30+ i remember people calling curry the best in the game !!!! Now with another top 3 player playing with a 73 win team u are expected to win.
Nate Rod
Nate Rod Month ago
Y’all hate on max but he is right on this one 💯
Makers Mike
Makers Mike Month ago
I've said this for a few years. Durant will end his career as never once in any year being the best player in the world. It was LeBron and now and in the future it will be others. Durant isn't even the most important player on his own team, and it's doubtful Durant would be doing as good as he is now without Curry there to take all of the pressure off him.
BCuda2010 Month ago
Harden can’t defend for shit so na
kram twain
kram twain Month ago
KD had replaced LeSwept already two years ago when KD won his first ring at the expense of James-led Cavaliers. The following year, KD cemented his legacy when he and his team beat again the Cavs via sweep.
Griffin Muramani
Stephen A. is so inconsistent
AJ Clips
AJ Clips Month ago
We wouldn't be having this conversation if LeBron didn't miss 18 games In a row. LeBron is about to shut everyone up next year and put this shit in the grave. It's going to take a lot for someone to take the crown from him due to how long he has been the best. Also I think the only person who can take it is James harden with a legendary post season run this year.
Orly James Gomez
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Michael D
Michael D Month ago
Harden is the best player in league...don't want to hear the false narrative about Harden after 29 pts with 3 free throws & 32+ pt triple double & will keep going off
Michael D
Michael D Month ago
I agree
VERTTTII Month ago
Crack is a hell of a drug
Edward Cui
Edward Cui Month ago
uh oh, I sense mama durant bouta smack Stephen a upside the head for this one
Mr Nnacheta
Mr Nnacheta Month ago
I hate how all because Bron has one bad season in which he was injured, all of a sudden he's no longer the best smh. Watch Bron come back just season and just blow everybody away
Deyknw Month ago
Not if he cant win it all🤷🏽‍♂️
KonStant Month ago
As y'all can see it's not LeBron it's the media...like they can't find any other topics to discuss smh let that man be, he shooting movies and relaxing with his family ! And yes he is still the best. But if we living in the moment harden has become the league best scorer #respect Curry is seriously underrated too
Yash Gowda
Yash Gowda Month ago
He just playing out with pat Beverley...... Now they r telling he is not a best player......if he wants he could just shoot on Beverly....
1990758 Month ago
Is that the new thing so the next couple of years the best player in the world
Alfredo Jesus Melendez III
Get off the Greek freaks baby nuts he aint shit compared to harden wake the fuck up
The Bay
The Bay Month ago
Don’t know what Max is saying; he is just a man that should be fired from the show; every time I come here, I am disappointed; have to have the same perspective on the dude every time; this dude needs to change and stop being a salty hater of KD and the Warriors, or he should be fired.
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