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James Harden on Oscar Robertson comparisons: That’s what I play for | NBA

In-form Rockets star James Harden is not shying away from comparisons to Oscar Robertson, saying his aim is to be considered as one of the NBA’s greatest ever players.

Harden scored 41 points as the Rockets beat the Pelicans 108-104 on Saturday, joining Robertson as the only players in NBA history to have tallied 35 points and five assists in seven straight games.

The Houston guard was delighted to match the achievements of the the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks great, but he plans to continue to be recognized in such company.

“That’s what I play for,” Harden told reporters. “That’s what you play the game of basketball for, to be mentioned by name with the greats.

“Obviously, I have a long way to go, but that’s what I put my jersey on for, that’s what I lace my shoes up for, to go out there and be the best that I can be and, when it’s all said and done, be mentioned as one of the best basketball players to ever touch a basketball.”

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni was purring as he discussed Harden’s contribution.

“I’ve said it a thousand times — and I don’t think I’m wrong because I get to watch it every night — but you don’t get better than what he does offensively,” he said.

“No one’s better. Then he’s also coming up with steals and rebounds. He does a lot.”

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