Rockets GM: 'Just factual' that Harden is better scorer than Jordan
Melissa Majchrzak / National Basketball Association / Getty

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey believes James Harden is the greatest scorer in basketball history and says he has the numbers to back up such a claim.

"Someone asked me, 'Who is a better scorer: (James Harden) or Michael Jordan?' And it's just factual that James Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan," Morey said during Thursday's episode of the "Selfmade with Nadeshot" podcast.

Morey's criteria for determining scoring prowess is rooted in a player's points scored per possession, which also accounts for a player's ability to create offense at the free-throw line.

"You give James Harden the ball and before you're giving up the ball, how many points do you generate? Which is how you should measure offense. James Harden is by far No. 1 in NBA history," he continued. "And he was No. 1 even at the Oklahoma City Thunder. It's just he was coming off the bench. He was a little more hidden."

Through 13 seasons with the Chicago Bulls - which excludes his late-career comeback with the Washington Wizards - Jordan averaged 31.5 points per game on a 51.8 effective field-goal percentage. In comparison, Harden has averaged just 24.3 points per game for his career but with a superior effective field-goal rate of 52.5 and better scoring from the charity stripe.

However, Jordan played at a time when the style and pace of play were radically different than today's game, which features teams such as the Rockets deploying wide-open offenses. Morey understands that detail will be used against his case for Harden's superiority.

"The counter-argument is reasonable. They say, 'If you put Michael Jordan on a team now, he would do more than James Harden.' That's possible, but if you're just saying, 'NBA history ... if you give this guy the ball, how much does his team score after you give him the ball before the other team gets the ball?' It's James Harden," Morey said. "And I know that makes people mad, but it's literally a fact."

- With h/t to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic

Rockets GM: 'Just factual' that Harden is better scorer than Jordan
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