Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is being compared to Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan this season — for scoring exploits not matched by anyone in NBA history besides those two guys. (Nobody else has averaged 36 or more points per game, as Harden is doing this season.)
But baller that he is, and scorer that he is, Harden was clear to shout out his respect as Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki passed yet another milestone, eclipsing Chamberlain to move to #6 on the all-time NBA scoring leaders list. Only Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are ahead of Nowitzki, who’s less than a thousand points shy of Jordan and James.
You’ll note that none of those other guys played in Texas, where there are three NBA teams with deep and winning pedigree, the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. Names like Harden, Nowitzki, George Gervin, Hakeem Olajuwon (scoring leader #11), Tony Parker, Tim Duncan (#14), Calvin Murphy, Manu Ginobili, David Robinson, and multiple other legends have played in the Lone Star State.
That makes Nowitzki the greatest scorer in the very rich vein of Texas NBA basketball history. Harden, in his tenth year in the NBA, ranks 72nd in scoring, though he’s rising fast. Harden congratulated Dirk on his accomplishment with one word: “LEGEND”.
— James Harden (@JHarden13) March 19, 2019