Longtime NBA veteran Darius Miles recently shared his thoughts on what makes Houston Rockets James Harden one of the best players in the league.
Since joining the Houston Rockets in 2012, James Harden has been one of the best players in the NBA. Harden has been an MVP Finalist on five different occasions and was the runner up for the award three times, and took home the award in 2017-18.
Harden has thrived under multiple coaches, including Kevin McHale, J.B. Bickerstaff, and Mike D’Antoni, as he led the league in points per game in each of the last three years. Harden also led the league in total points in four of the last six seasons, which is impressive considering the steady personnel changes that the Rockets have had.
During that span, Harden played alongside three different surefire Hall of Famers, including Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook and became an MVP Finalist with each player on the roster. Longtime NBA veteran Darius Miles offered an explanation of what makes Harden so great during a recent episode of the Knuckleheads podcast, which is sponsored by the Players Tribune.
“James Harden, he stretches the game and stretches the rules. James Harden adds different stuff to it. Like ‘look, he says we can jump-stop right here but I can stretch it to something else. Why can’t I jump-stop at the 3-point line?”
Harden has definitely added different aspects to his over the years, ranging from the Eurostep to the stepback 3-pointer to the one-legged three. Harden has essentially proven to be able to master anything he’s sought to add to his repertoire, and he’s made it his goal to improve each season.
Miles explains greatness of Rockets’ James Harden
Harden has also become a stellar defender, as he recently led the league in steals and has been one of the best post defenders in the league, although many of Harden’s naysayers will say otherwise.
To that point, Harden will have to win a title to silence those critics, as the NBA has gradually shifted to a “title or bust” lens, as it pertains to assessing superstars.
Harden and the Houston Rockets have loaded up this offseason, adding former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and marquee free agent and budding star Christian Wood, in attempts to dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated them in the Western Conference Semifinals.
With Stephen Silas and a stellar coaching staff in the fold, in addition to the Rockets ownership set to pay the luxury tax, the Rockets may be better positioned than to contend for a title than the last two seasons.