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Despite feud, Giannis Antetokounmpo says James Harden is hardest to guard in NBA

Under normal circumstances, NBA players are usually all over Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, interacting with fans and each other. In this time of social distancing and self-quarantine, they’re becoming even more online and giving us more insight into their lives and thoughts — and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is no exception.

On Instagram Live, Antetokounmpo was asked which NBA player is the hardest to guard. He took several seconds of deep, intense thought before giving his answer: James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

This is no small compliment from Giannis, because he and Harden have been beefing for a bit. It all started in August when Harden griped about Antetokounmpo winning the 2019 MVP award, saying that Antetokounmpo’s 78 first-place votes were the result of a “media narrative.” Then Antetokounmpo skipped over Harden in the All-Star draft and made some less-than-flattering comments about him, saying he wanted “somebody who’s gonna pass the ball.”

The feud continued in late February when Harden shot back at Antetokounmpo’s All-Star Game comments.

“I wish I was just 7 feet and could just run and just dunk. That takes no skill at all. I’ve got to actually learn how to play basketball and have skill. I’ll take that every day.”


Despite the back-and-forth and the possible personal animosity the two feel toward each other, Antetokounmpo has respect for Harden and his game. If Harden wasn’t actually the toughest to guard, you know Giannis wouldn’t have bothered saying his name.

Houston's James Harden drives to the basket defended by Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo at Toyota Center on Oct. 24, 2019. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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