Learning The Art of Perfectly Balancing Humility and Confidence from James Harden

Published 01/12/2022, 9:30 AM EST
Nov 24, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts to a call as they take on the Boston Celtics in the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


Basketball players often come across as conceited, particularly at the peak of their careers. James Harden has made numerous statements regarding his performance, comparing himself to other players, and saying he is one of the best players of all time as well as showing the confidence that one needs to be successful in the NBA.

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ESPN’s Scoop Jackson interviewed Harden when the men’s basketball team was preparing for the FIBA World Cup. Jackson discussed Harden’s stats, confidence during games, and who he thinks could be the best player alive. While mentioning other players such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, he declared himself as the best of the bunch, though he is also on par with those players. He also concluded by expressing his confidence in himself and being in the process of learning more for improvement

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It seems that James Harden is still catching up with guys like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

In the interview, when Harden was asked who is the best basketball player alive, Harden said: “Myself.” the interviewer noted that it sounded so easy to tell, in response, Harden stated, “It is. Myself.”

Scoop asked Harden about his expectations from himself and if he had met the goals he set for himself in the NBA, keeping in mind that he called himself the best. Harden replied that he has a lot to achieve as he sees so much potential in him and he also has a long way to go since there is a lot to learn in this game

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GUANGZHOU, CHINA – AUGUST 12: The NBA player James Harden of the Houston Rockets attends a commercial event at Haixinsha Asian Games Theme Park on August 12, 2017 in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The time he spent with Durant, and LeBron playing against him, Harden described as learning from each player. In regards to the time he spends with other players, he said, Still trying to catch guys like LeBron, KD, and Kobe. You know, just trying to catch those guys. That’s something I get to look forward to every single day to motivate me.”

In reference to players like LeBron, Kobe, and KD, Scoop said, “Because you know you can still serve them on the court every now and then.”

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Harden immediately responded with, “Listen until I get rings I can’t say anything.”

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 20: Gary Harris (14) of the Denver Nuggets pins James Harden (13) of the Houston Rockets in the corner during the third quarter of Denver’s 105-95 win on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

This wasn’t the only time he said himself to be the best. Another time Harden talked about being the best player all-around while comparing himself with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis during an interview that was covered on the NBA 2K15 video game.  Although he called himself the best at the beginning of his statement, he later acknowledged that he is still catching up with others in the top tier, which is a bit confusing, knowing what he expects.

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Share your thoughts on Harden’s confidence in calling himself the best player in the NBA.

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Anshika Rai

172 articles

Anshika Rai is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Anshika has been following NBA for many years now.

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