Brooklyn Nets star James Harden has been on a tear since being traded from the Houston Rockets in January. Harden is putting up some insanely good numbers as he is averaging 25.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and a league-leading 11.4 assists per game.
Some people think that the nine-time NBA All-Star deserves Most Valuable Player consideration for the numbers that he has put up in a very turbulent season for the Brooklyn Nets. However, there are still some people who are wary of Harden’s style of play and if he can ultimately be a contributing member of a championship team. One former Miami Heat Champion is amongst the doubters.
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Antoine Walker RIPS James Harden
“I’m not a James Harden guy, and it’s not personal but you can’t win with that style,” three-time All-Star Antoine Walker said during a recent appearance on the All Things Covered podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden via CBS Sports.
Quite the contrary, all the Nets have done is win since “The Beard’s” arrival. Even with the extended absence of Nets’ star Kevin Durant, Brooklyn has won 10 of their last 11 games and are now just a half-game back from the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 24-13.
“He’s in a very unique situation with [Kevin] Durant and Kyrie [Irving], but it remains to be seen,” Walker continued.
“I don’t think you can win with his style. Any time it takes a guy six, seven, eight dribbles to get to where he has to go, that’s a problem. It works today because it’s more of a pick-and-roll league, so he gets away with a lot of things now, but I would not leverage my future for James Harden.”
Harden Acknowledges His Shortcomings
While his first championship has most definitely eluded him on several occasions it is a bit of a stretch to say that you can’t win with James Harden’s style of play.
For much of his career Harden has played a major role in his teams making deep playoff runs. He has just run into teams that were just much more talented. He acknowledges his playoff failures but still knows that he did all that he could for his teams to be successful.
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“Obviously, I came up short of a championship. But the work on and off the court that I put in over those past eight years was elite,” Harden said of his time with the Rockets via SNY.
During his time in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook and Durant the Thunder went to the NBA Finals but lost to a very game LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
The next season he would be traded to the Houston Rockets whom he would lead to two Western Conference Finals appearances but lost to two very loaded Golden State Warriors teams.
“Obviously, I think that’s the only thing that I didn’t do or didn’t accomplish is the championship, which is difficult to attain. But as far as bringing excitement to the city, taking care of the fans on and off the court is something that I tried to contribute, so hopefully that outweighs that.”
Harden is looking to change the narrative by capturing his first title this season with the Brooklyn Nets.