In this day and age in the NBA, you will see the former players giving their thoughts on current players and they tend to say some upsetting things about them. For some however, their warnings weren’t taken and what they had predicted had come to pass.
James Harden is one of those players who fall under this category. If you are wondering why James Harden is jumping from team-to-team and instead he should have played the rest of his career with the Rockets, it’s obviously to win a championship to his name. Of course it is selfish to say so but isn’t that every players’ dreams.
What Kobe said
Back in February of 2019, Kobe Bryant sat with his old friend and rival Tracy McGrady in an interview. They reminisced some of their battles and how their career turned out in the end of it all. In that interview, Bryant talked about some of the young players in the league and how he sees their career unfold.
He didn’t say much about many players but he reflected on one simple point which he faced as well during his career. Kobe was a ball hog most of his career. So as a fellow ball hogger, he says that the way James Harden plays won’t help him win a championship. And what do you know, he was right!
And he was right
James Harden had invented his style of scoring with the Houston Rockets. The further influence to his game was brought in by Mike D’Antoni. Realizing his scoring potential, Harden won’t be scared to shoot the ball as many times as he can. He used to do just that while the other stand around him waiting for a pass to shoot a 3.
A style like that would obviously not culminate to wins. Harden was abysmal defensively as well so playing small-ball like the Warriors won’t help his case at all. When Kobe said that statement, the rockets had one of their better teams with Chris Paul alongside Harden in the back court.
They had the ability to beat the Warriors but they failed. Harden’s iso-centric offense has always led to this. With Howard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook who was his close friend, had all complained that Harden kept the ball too much with him. If this is the pattern he has formed, then he would be unable to bring out the potential of his teammates.
Kobe was right! You cannot win just by dribbling the ball and playing iso. Now that he is a second option behind Joel Embiid, he has been having problems adjusting his game. Harden would completely vanish in some quarters and his situation gets worse with passing time. The next season with the 76ers is an important one for Harden. If he needs to win then he has to learn how to be a point guard as soon as possible!