The drama between the athletes began during the 2020 NBA All-Star draft earlier this month, when Antetokounmpo was asked why he didn't consider Harden over Kemba Walker. "I want somebody that’s going to pass the ball," Antetokounmpo told Charles Barkley on TNT.
Harden addressed the comment while speaking to ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Friday.
"I averaged more assists than [Walker] I think," he said. "I don’t see what the joke is. But I didn’t even see it, I don’t pay attention to stuff like that. I just know that none of them can mess with me."
He then made a comment that many perceived as shade toward the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo.
"I wish I could just run and be seven feet and just dunk," Harden told Nichols. "Like, that takes no skill at all. I gotta actually learn how to play basketball and how to have skill. I'll take that any day."
Antetokounmpo insists he wasn't bothered, nor was he trying to start any beef.
"There hasn't been a back and forth. Like I'm not the type of guy—I never try to take stabs at somebody." Antetokounmpo said. "Maybe sometimes it might come out like that, but I'm definitely not. I'm just trying to do my job, which is win games and go back home to my family ... At the end of the day, if that's what he believes, that's what he believes. I can't say anything about it. I've just got to keep being focused ..."