3. Sacrificing Stats
This one might confuse people due to Jordan’s mentality to destroy the opposition with his offensive game, but there was not a single time I heard Jordan claim he cared about his stats too much.
Jordan simply cared about nothing else besides winning. Although he did put up great numbers throughout the regular seasons and playoffs, Jordan let the game come to him rather than go out there with the intent to score 50-plus.
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At times, it feels like James Harden cares about his stats a little too much — which is the case with most of the NBA, not only Harden.
His current teammate, Russell Westbrook, averaged a triple-double for three seasons in a row. Some claim it was due to stat-padding, which I don’t believe to be the case.
In today’s NBA, the rapid-fire offense and lack of defense can make anyone’s stats look pretty.
The slow transition from traditional centers to stretch bigs also opens up the paint more for guards like Harden to easily grab more rebounds than they would in other eras.
The fast-paced offenses can easily result in quick buckets, which can make assist numbers a little more deceiving as well, whereas guards like John Stockton actually deserved every assist attributed to them.
Meanwhile, sometimes Harden likes to dribble the ball until the shot clock has about five seconds left and then pass the ball in hopes of getting an assist.
Like I said, James Harden is not the only one, it’s just an ongoing thing in the current state of the NBA. But if Harden can change that, the Rockets would be a better overall team and could get to the next level.
If Harden can become a better leader, gain more of a winning mentality and sacrifice his stats, there will not be a single negative aspect of James Harden, the basketball player.
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Maybe during this time off, Harden can change that and take the league by storm mentally upon an expected league continuation.