Wade won three NBA titles during his career, all of which came with the Heat. Harden, on the other hand, is still trying to capture his first championship.
It sounds like Harden looks up to the fact that Wade won three championships during his playing days.
“A championship is the one thing Harden’s resume lacks as well,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “People familiar with Harden’s thinking have long listed Dwyane Wade’s three titles as something Harden sees ahead of his standing on the great guard rankings in NBA history.”
By countless measures, Harden has already established himself as one of the best shooting guards in NBA history. He has 10 All-Star selections to his name, seven All-NBA nods, three scoring titles and one league MVP award.
The veteran lays claim to a couple of the most memorable scoring seasons in recent history. In the 2018-19 campaign, he averaged a remarkable 36.1 points per game, then he followed it up by averaging 34.3 points per game the next season.
However, his lack of an NBA title does make it hard to put him up against some of the other all-time great shooting guards like Wade. Harden has tried hard to check that championship box with a few different franchises, but so far, he hasn’t been able to get the job done.
He’s now 33 years old, and while he’s still playing like a star (especially from a playmaking perspective), he’s seemingly lost a step in recent seasons. He won’t be able to play forever, and time may be running out on his championship hopes.
But he’s certainly not done yet, and he’s currently part of a Sixers team that has legitimate title aspirations this season. Philadelphia is 20-12 so far in the 2022-23 campaign, good enough for fifth place in a very intriguing Eastern Conference.
Harden almost certainly won’t win as many rings as Wade did during his NBA career, but if the veteran were to win just one title before retiring, he’d have to feel extremely good about joining the championship club.