"Hell no, I didn't see it coming", Harden said after the loss to the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't going to join in on the debate about whether he should be an early favorite for MVP after he led the Milwaukee Bucks to a victory over the Houston Rockets and last year's MVP James Harden on Wednesday night.
Harden's 42 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the game weren't enough to stop a Bucks team that had him bamboozled in the second half with tactics that did more than daze him like Antetokounmpo's bullet did at the 9:02 mark of the fourth quarter.
Informed that Lopez declared that the Bucks believe he's the league's best player, Antetokounmpo smiled and joked that the big man is "my No. 1 fan".
Antetokounmpo continued by explaining how he's not quite sure he can be considered one of the best players in the league just yet. "He does it in so many ways".
The Bucks face the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. on Friday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., The Rockets host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 8 p.m. on Friday in Houston. He's all over the court constantly.
However, to state that the 24-year-old is the best player in the game - ahead of the likes of established veterans and former National Basketball Association champions such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant - is the definition of a bold statement.
In fairness to Giannis, he was rather modest after the game, choosing to dismiss his teammate's notion that he's the best in the game right now.
"All I care about is winning", Antetokounmpo said. "And [becoming the league's best player is] going to take care of itself".
"We just got stagnant and defensively I think we allowed 38 points in that quarter - way too many - especially at home and so there you go", Harden said. "I don't even know what happened", Harden said.
Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws to push Milwaukee's lead to four points with about 90 seconds left. He has yet to lead the Bucks past the first round in three playoff appearances.
As unfair as the standard may seem, Antetokounmpo has to lead his team to some degree of postseason success before we officially anoint him as the best in the game.
Houston center Clint Capela struggled, making just 4 of 16 shots a game after scoring a career-high 31 points in a win over the Nuggets on Monday.