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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Kevin Durant: James Harden is underappreciated outside of NBA

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James Harden is a year removed from nearly winning MVP, but Kevin Durant feels that his former teammate doesn’t get his due from observers.

On Sunday, Durant said that Harden is one of the best players in the game and bemoaned his absence from All-NBA consideration.

“Nobody really appreciates what he does except for the players in our league,” Durant said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Everybody on the outside doesn’t really appreciate what he brings. Anybody that can put up 29 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and not make the All-NBA team, that’s like a sin to even think about not putting a guy like that on the All-NBA team.

“As a player and someone that played with him and a fan of the game I was (angry) because somebody is right here in front of you and you can’t appreciate him. If he were to retire tomorrow, we would have so many stories and videos about how great he is, but he’s here right now doing it. Appreciate what he brings.”

Durant is right that Harden is an elite player who stuffs the stat sheet. It’s his defensive struggles and some criticism of his intangibles, however, that have kept him from being recognized as a consistent, consensus All-NBA talent.

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