Imagine a world where Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden is actually traded and plays for the Milwaukee Bucks instead of the Brooklyn Nets or the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I would love to see him in Milwaukee,” Tiki Barber told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“It feels like it’s getting toxic in Houston and it’s almost like he’s taking on this apathetic view like Whatever. I mean, we’ve never seen him like that like, Okay, I’m just here … so I think a change of scenery is necessary and I got pushback from my co-host about Milwaukee and the reason I like Milwaukee is because Coach Budenholzer plays a system that is very similar to what he did on Houston except, defensively it’s more pack lined. You don’t have to play man-to-man vigorously and you’re wearing out your energy and not being able to use it offensively. If you’re going to be shooting 3-pointers, go ahead and and keep shooting those 3-pointers! But we’re going to beat you by also shooting 3-pointers and also having the best most unstoppable player on the post that we can have. If you have a combo of James Harden and Giannis; now you probably have to give up Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday as well so you would be gutting your team to get him. In theory James Harden in a system that is somewhat familiar to what he likes to do offensively and I think it’s good enough for him defensively, I think you make the most of it — I would love to see him in Milwaukee in a small market and you know what? They’d be a favorite to win a championship. There wouldn’t be a doubt about it.”
What about the City of Brotherly Love?
“I don’t see Philly because I don’t love their construction of the 76ers right now,” said Barber.
“Last year was intriguing to me when they got big; like they bring in Al Horford and Ben Simmons is a 6’10” point guard, right? And Joel Embiid is 7’1” and Tobias Harris is like, 6’8’; they were massive. They were like trees but when it came down to it who plays basketball like that anymore? So I think that it’s too much work to be done down there. Now Daryl Morey is there so I believe that he’s going to get really creative and start tinkering with Philly. Philly I think has a real shot in a couple years but, I don’t like it for James Harden right now at 31 years old. He has to be somewhere that’s set up to win a championship. Now it becomes a super team if he goes to Milwaukee because with Giannis, that’s not his deal but it would be really fun if he was in Milwaukee.”
Barber likes Harden in Brooklyn with Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
“Talk about egos,” he told Heavy Live With Scoop B.
“The only reason is because Joseph Tsai who is the owner of the Brooklyn Nets is he looks at it as a sport and also as a marketing tool and a sales tool. And when you look at top ten jersey sales… Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant… James Harden. I mean, you’re raking in cash if he ends up going there. That would make sense from a business standpoint and it would be interesting to see how they all mesh. Not enough shots for James Harden to be in Brooklyn.”