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James Harden gives impassioned speech to young ballers stressing work ethic, preparation

Sep 14, 2021 0 comments




Many NBA fans judge James Harden by his flashy fashion sense, eccentric personality, and on-court histrionics, but very few appreciate the work that man put in to be one of the league's top players. 

Harden's leadership behind the scenes has been a talking point by Nets teammates as he's not only an incredible basketball talent, but a basketball savant. Brooklyn's floor general has incredible court vision, unlimited moves off the dribble in his bag, along with an absurd stepback three that only a handful of players in the NBA can come close to emulating. 

So when Harden had a chance to practice with young up and coming ballers, he didn't mince words when calling out their effort at practice.

Understandably, Harden was heavily criticized for showing up late to Houston Rockets training camp this past season and being physically out of shape and mentally in another place. Even upon his not so subtle trade demand with Brooklyn atop the list, it took Harden several weeks to get into game condition.

Last year's scenario was an outlier in Harden's career as he's been a gamer and hardly missed significant time over the course of his time in the NBA.

Unfortunately, Harden battled a nagging hamstring injury that forced him into two prolonged stints on the injured list. Upon returning in time for the start of the playoffs, he reaggravated the injury, which was only classified as a moderate Grade 2 strain after the Nets were eliminated by Bucks. 

The Nets leader in triple doubles during the regular season with 12 in just 36 regular season games, good enough to tie for the franchise-lead set by Jason Kidd, Harden tried to gut it out in the playoffs, but wasn't nearly himself.

Former Nets and Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni, who coached Harden in both destinations, ravved about the "Beared One's" leadership. It's clear that Harden demands accountability from his teammates and given his stern words of caution to the younger generation of ballers, coaching could be in his future down the road. 

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