Rockets star James Harden’s willingness to sacrifice for a championship met with skepticism
Houston Rockets star James Harden continues to ball for his team despite not getting his trade wishes granted by the team. Regardless of his situation, several individuals continued to chime in on Harden’s playing style on the court. They expressed their skepticism on whether or not the 2018 NBA MVP is willing to sacrifice his individual play in exchange for a better shot at winning a championship.
“I don’t think he is,” says an executive from an Eastern Conference team via Sports Illustrated. “James is like Allen Iverson: He wants to win his way and put up historical numbers while he’s winning. I would never question their desire to win, but they all want to win on their terms.”
Meanwhile, a Western Conference executive echoed the same sentiments but still gave Harden some benefit of the doubt.
“It’s hard for me to envision him playing any other way,” although he added, “I’m not sure if that’s him or the Rockets”
Harden’s former high school coach in Scott Pera, who now coaches at Rice University, bared that his former player really wants to win a championship in the league.
“He wants to win,” he said. “People can say whatever they want. That, I know.”
Given his desire to win, a question continues to loom on how much would Harden be willing to change his playing style to achieve the ultimate goal.
“There’s just only so many guys in the history of the league who can do what he does,” Pera added. “So it’s an interesting question. It all comes back, though, to the same thing: I believe winning is the central focus for him. If that’s true, as I believe it is, then he will do what it takes for that to occur.”
After several years of bouncing out of the playoffs, Harden wanted to have a change in scenery by requesting a trade to a number of contenders. But given his ball-dominance tendency, success with a new team isn’t guaranteed.
Despite being in a flawed situation today, Harden continues to come out with high-scoring performances in the early stages of the season. Through four games played, Harden averaged norms of 33.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 10.8 assists for the Rockets.
Seeing how trade talks have become stale in recent weeks, it won’t be a surprise if James Harden somehow finishes the 2020-2021 season with the Rockets. The outcome of his campaign this season will certainly speak volumes about his willingness to sacrifice his individual numbers for team success.
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