Even if James Harden broke the scoring record and scored 100 points in a game, there's still one thing keeping him from being the greatest Rockets player ever -- A RING!! -- so says Kenny Smith.
The Beard has been going OFF this season -- averaging nearly 39 points and 8 assists through 19 games -- leaving some fans wondering if Harden has what it takes to go down as the G.O.A.T. in Houston.
TMZ Sports spoke with the Jet at LAX on Monday and had to ask if Harden's ever gonna take the throne from Hakeem Olajuwon ... and while he says Harden's "in the conversation," Smith says James still needs some work.
"You gotta win championships," Smith tells us. "The scoring records are great and that's putting him in the conversation."
"The assists, his overall play. But, the greatests are always measured by championships."
For the record, Hakeem has 2 rings and 2 Finals MVPs on his resume.
We also got Kenny to talk some LaMelo Ball ... and while he says the kid is "damn good," Smith thinks there are some other guys who have a better chance of being called with the #1 overall pick.