James Harden on the Clippers: Embracing ‘I’m the system’ in a brand new star ensemble

James Harden’s tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers got here with its highs and lows, however in the end, the 2022-23 season marked a brand new chapter in his storied profession. Whereas he took a backseat in scoring with a mean of 21 factors per recreation, his playmaking took middle stage as he topped the NBA in assists. This steadiness of expertise contributed to the 76ers clinching the No. 3 seed within the Japanese Convention and was instrumental in Joel Embiid clinching his first MVP award.

Nonetheless, the change in Harden‘s position didn’t sit properly with the star guard. A eager for a distinct setting led him to push for a relocation to the Los Angeles Clippers, a want that was granted simply earlier than the beginning of the brand new season. Harden expressed his dissatisfaction throughout his first press convention with the Clippers, saying, “Philly is simply altering my position figuring out I may give extra… it is like being on a leash.”

Harden‘s frustration appeared rooted within the constraints he felt on the courtroom, regardless of statistics from final season exhibiting that he ranked simply behind Luka Doncic for time spent with the ball. As Harden put it, he views himself not merely as a cog in a system however because the system itself-a perception proven by his historic utilization charge of over 40% again in 2019.

The transfer to the Clippers locations Harden amongst a constellation of stars, together with Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George. His new group scenario raises questions on ball distribution and offensive dynamics, notably given his historical past and taking part in model.

Doc Rivers gave his opinion on his utilization

Doc Rivers, Harden’s former coach, mirrored on the guard’s stint with the 76ers on the Invoice Simmons Podcast. Rivers highlighted a interval the place Harden embraced the position of some extent guard, resulting in a formidable stretch of video games for the group. But, this shift appeared short-lived, probably resulting from Harden’s omission from the All-Star team-a snub Rivers believed impacted Harden deeply.

Trying forward, Harden’s integration into the Clippers‘ system shall be a matter of steadiness and compromise. It stays to be seen whether or not the guard can regulate to a shared offensive management, particularly with gamers who’ve additionally been accustomed to having the ball of their palms. As Rivers famous, the power to play group basketball usually hinges on the participant’s mindset and the popularity they obtain.

Harden‘s journey with the Clippers shall be a check of adaptability, teamwork, and maybe humility. If he can discover equilibrium between his immense expertise and the collective wants of the Clippers, the upcoming season could properly turn into a pivotal level in his profession narrative.

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