Giannis says there's no 'back and forth' with Harden
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Giannis Antetokounmpo is downplaying any perceived animosity between himself and James Harden after the Houston Rockets star criticized his style of play.

"It hasn't been a back and forth (with Harden)," Antetokounmpo told ESPN before his league-leading Milwaukee Bucks took on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

"I'm not that type of guy, I never try to take stabs at somebody," Antetokounmpo continued. "Maybe sometimes it might come out like that, but I'm definitely not. ... At the end of the day, if that's what (Harden) believes, that's what he believes."

In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Harden appeared to take a shot at Antetokounmpo by stating running and dunking as a 7-footer takes "no skill at all."

Prior to that interview, Antetokounmpo joked about Harden's ball-dominant tendencies with TNT's Charles Barkley when selecting All-Star teams. Following the conclusion of the All-Star Game, Antetokounmpo said his team's offensive strategy was to "find whoever James Harden was guarding."

Kostas Antetokounmpo, Giannis' younger brother, blamed the media in a since-deleted tweet for the comments exchanged between the two stars.

Harden, who won the 2017-18 MVP, suggested last summer that a media-created narrative helped Antetokounmpo win the 2018-19 award over him.

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Giannis says there's no 'back and forth' with Harden
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