Harden Sounds off on Weight Gain Critics

James Harden, left, of the Houston Rockets

Getty James Harden, left, of the Houston Rockets

The Nets officially introduced eight-time all-star James Harden as a member of the team via a zoom press conference on Friday. The Nets were able to complete the blockbuster deal via a four-team trade.  The full terms of the trade include Brooklyn receiving James Harden, Rockets receive Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, Three Nets first-rounders (22, 24, 26), One Bucks first (22, unprotected), and four Nets 1st round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27), Pacers get Caris LeVert, and a second-rounder while the Cavs get Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince. One of the major questions about James coming into training camp was how good of shape he was in, as he had obviously put on some pounds over the summer. Harden addressed his current state of conditioning during the introductory press conference.

Harden Is in “Great” Shape

“Great,” James told a reporter who asked how he would describe his current level of conditioning. The 2018 Most Valuable Player is averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game on the season. The Beard will join another former Most Valuable Player award winner in Brooklyn as two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant continues to put together a spectacular season.

One of the common misconceptions about super teams is that you can put together any collection of talent together and it will work automatically. That couldn’t be less true, just ask the 2020 Los Angeles Clippers, who blew a 3-1 lead in the bubble. The Beard addressed him, KD, and Kyrie Irving‘s compatibility on the court and what plan they have to make it work.  “It might take a little time, it might not,” James told reporters over Zoom on Friday. “I think all of us are very, very smart, like I said, are very unselfish and we know what’s at stake. It’s a matter of coaches putting us in position and us communicating, putting ourselves in positions and spots on the floor where we can be effective and help each other out.”

Harden Addresses Houston Exit

Harden also addressed the disdain that his former teammates in Houston had with him and his exit. Specifically, Rockets starting center DeMarcus Cousins, who called his actions disrespectful to the team. “I wasn’t disrespectful to anyone,” he told reporters. “Those guys had just got there to Houston; I’ve been there for a very long time. I’ve been through the ups and downs with that organization, and I wasn’t disrespectful toward anyone. I just made a comment that the team as a whole wasn’t good enough to compete for a title. And at the stage of my career where I am now, that’s what I would love.”

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Brooklyn’s newest superstar has officially been listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against the Magic so there is still a chance that he suits up for his first time as a Net against Orlando. Whenever he does debut for Brooklyn he is coming to the team with eyes set on one goal, an NBA Title. “It’s not a guarantee that me coming to Brooklyn is guaranteeing a title,” James said. “I think, for me, giving myself a chance is very, very important. When I was younger, giving myself a chance, but wanting to get paid and wanting to take care of my family was very, very important to me. Now in this stage of my career, it’s giving myself a chance to do something that I haven’t accomplished yet in the league.”

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