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James Harden, when asked who is the best basketball player alive right now: ‘Myself’

Aug 19, 2014, 9:21 AM EDT

Team USA Practice Session Getty Images

There’s no questioning the fact that James Harden is one of the game’s elite offensive players, one who has proven capable of scoring in a variety of ways — both in the paint, and from well beyond three-point distance.

It’s another story entirely on the defensive end of the floor, but evidently, Harden wasn’t taking that into consideration when making a statement about his current place among the league’s top players.

From Scoop Jackson of ESPN.com:

Scoop: Bottom line, you are on this team and a lot of players aren’t, but in your mind, who is the best basketball player alive right now?

Harden: Myself.

Scoop: That’s what I was about to say, “including you.” You made that sound like it was an easy answer.

Harden: It is. Myself.

Now, despite the minor issue of this being what most would consider a factually incorrect assertion, there isn’t really anything wrong with Harden making this declaration.

Confidence is everything in basketball, and Harden is far from the first player to proclaim he’s the greatest. Stephen Curry recently said he’s a better offensive player than LeBron James, and guys like Derrick Rose and John Wall have similarly said that they believe they are the best.

The entire interview is worth checking out, because for the most part, Harden comes across as being appropriately humble, and goes on to say some honest things. His confidence comes from having a tremendous work ethic, and putting that time in consistently — which makes his initial statement at least a little bit less absurd.

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