Sometimes, you just have to give yourself a pat on the back if you're a star athlete. You can be humble and let your big performances and overall production do the talking for the most part, but sometimes you've just got to acknowledge that you're damn good at what you do.
Heck, if I made a pass like this, I would be bragging about it for days on end.
And while James Harden isn't going to do that, he is able to realize that very few people in the world could make that kind of play. An even smaller portion of people could make that kind of pass in an all-around strong effort (18 points on 6-8 shooting, 11 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks) after spending more than a month recovering from an injury. How's that for a first game back on the hardwood?
So, yeah, I'd say that Harden is more than deserving of a little bit of self love. He provided just that in a postgame presser when he was asked whether or not he was surprised at his ability to play so well after going through a long injury-related hiatus.
"Not really. Not to, like, brag or anything, but I'm, like, really good at this game," Harden said. "You know, I study the game. Very unselfish. I take the game and I play it the right way every single night, so I don't try to do anything that I can't do or anything that doesn't benefit our team. And that mindset right there keeps me in a really good place."
No, James... you should be bragging. That's an unreal stat line — coming off the bench, no less — that adds just another game onto what has already been an incredible season. He's on pace to become just the third player in NBA history to record multiple seasons of at least 25 points and 10 assists per game, joining Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook in the ultimate club of offensive dominance.
If he's healthy and playing like this alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — which has admittedly proven to be a big if to this point in the season — the NBA should watch out.