After two surprisingly effective seasons with the Rockets, Jason Terry signed a free-agent deal in Milwaukee this summer, where he’ll be coached by former 2011 Mavericks teammate Jason Kidd. Terry recently appeared on Sirius XM’s NBA channel (audio here) to give his thoughts on various matters around the league — including James Harden’s superiority over Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard’s status as a B-list star.
Here’s what he said about Thompson (transcription from Defpen.com):
“He’s not leading s***”, Terry said of Klay Thompson. “If he doesn’t make shots, how effective is he? Go watch Klay Thompson vs. James Harden from last year and see what James did to him. Every time James got by him, you know who was there? Draymond Green or Andrew Bogut.
“Let’s see what happens this time around.”
“I’m not a Klay Thompson hater,” Terry clarified, praising his shooting and his family. “It’s just when you put him up against James Harden, there’s no comparison.”
Now, there’s a perfectly defensible argument to make that Harden is better than Thompson. At this point, Thompson might get the edge because of his defense, but the Rockets’ disappointing 2015-16 season makes it easy to forget just got dominant an offensive player Harden is (Matt Moore of CBSSports.com has a great, comprehensive breakdown of Harden’s game here).
But to say there’s “no comparison” between Harden and Thompson is pushing it. It’s understandable Terry would feel that way, since he’s been teammates with Harden and knows him better, but it’s an oversimplification.
Not to mention the insinuation that Leonard, the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year who has also blossomed into an elite, versatile offensive player, isn’t in the upper echelon of stars.