I am not alone either.
It’s a funny thing really, I was a big fan of James Harden when he was a rookie at OKC. The man had handles, he was crafty and every now and then he would drop the hammer
But ever since he went to Houston and actually became the MVP, I’ve really turned from a fan to a hater. Why?
Those damn free throws, yes it’s knowing the game, but it feels so dishonorable! And some of the calls he gets its so silly, you have to think that the league saw Harden as someone they could market and decided to really help him out (in the regular season anyway)
How can you jump on another player and then be awarded a foul for you! Total jokes!
Then there’s the complete lack of defense, Harden knows in the league today you make the money and get the recognition by focusing on offense, so he literally does nothing on D.
seriously guys, that is how he plays defense when he’s facing NBA opposition! Don’t believe me? Check out this play…LOL!! (That’s going to go down as an all time classic meme)
Then there’s the damn traveling that he does on his Euro steps……..but since everyone’s doing it now, I can’t really call him out on that, but to cheat some more – this season he’s doing the double step back! That’s right! Double Step Back…WTF! How in the hell are the refs letting him do this!
I am so glad Curry is calling him out on it!! Go straight to 3:21 mark of the video
Finally, Harden disappears in the playoffs. This is when the ref’s seem to actually start officiating, and his game shrinks, don’t get me wrong he still fills the stat sheet, but he doesn’t show up when the game really matters (so far anything in his career) I’ll always remember in the epic come back against the LA clippers in 2015, with Harden glued to the bench! Don’t forget those 13 turnovers against Golden State either…..total dud.
However, James is an incredibly talented offensive player, he won regular season MVP in 2017-18 season and is pouring in some epic stat line in the 2018-19 season, check it:
For the month of December 2018
Wow! He scored over forty points four times in a row! and let’s not forget about the fifty point and 47 point excursions he had during the December stretch! All the while, assisting and rebounding! Led the Rockets to a winning record for the month as well.
And so far in January
he’s averaging pretty much forty points and 11 assists and 8 rebounds! He’s on a tear and media talk is all on him repeating as MVP.
The thing is though, the explosion in scoring in the league today in my mind has inflated the abilities of many players in the league and none more so then James Harden. The pace of the game lets the players get up more shots, the emphasis on offense over defense makes it easier for people to score. (I am not saying James isn’t incredibly skilled as some of the shots he’s hitting is crazy!) But the way league is constructed right now and with the advantages he’s been given, it’s a perfect storm for his game.
Harden like to pound the rock, he’s often criticized for dribbling away the entire shot clock to then either put a shot or a pass to team mate that has to shoot (therefore enhancing his own chance of getting an assist, as his team mate has to shoot and not pass otherwise it would be a turnover with the shot clock violation.) But what people don’t mention is that because of the way he’s officiated or the way he likes to lure people in with fouls with his dribbling, it makes sense for him to crossover 15 times. Any time a defender reaches or plays good physical defense they get penalized by the refs, as Harden has that reputation and is protected by the refs. (This goes down substantially in the play-offs, which is why Harden’s game shrinks)
I suppose as gaudy as those stats are, I just don’t like it….I am not a fan of his game, and I ain’t rooting for Harden.
Giannis for MVP!