1. The article’s intent was to sabotage Harden’s trade value
Tim MacMahon’s article cites many former team staffers who shared different accounts of what the Houston Rockets organization was like under the Harden Era. The timing of the article’s publication is questionable considering Harden has been with the organization for eight years already.
He is widely recognized as one of the premier players in the NBA. Just like other superstars in the league, Harden’s privilege isn’t any different. So, why is it being reported in such a negative light right now?
Of course, we can point to his trade request and his absence at the start of the training camp to justify the timing of the article. Many stars are self-centered, spoiled, and given priority treatment, but Tim MacMahon does not address this in his article.
MacMahon failed to address what the superstar has done for the franchise during his tenure or how he has continued to evolve and improve his game each subsequent year. Harden’s scoring average has increased steadily since the 2013-2014 season with last year being the exception.
Since Harden’s arrival in Houston, the team has on average won 63.9 percent of their games each season. For reference, this is extremely close to Lebron James’ career win-percentage of 66.3 percent. Lebron James since the 2012-2013 campaign has posted a win-shares per 48 minutes of 0.235.
In that same time span, Harden has averaged a win-shares per 48 minutes of 0.241. But, Lebron doesn’t fly out in between games to party, unlike Harden, therefore, shouldn’t MacMahon’s article about the Houston Rockets’ preferential treatment of their superstar should tell us all we need to know about what kind of player Harden is.
The regular season is around the corner and while the trade market for James Harden hasn’t sizzled yet, the Rockets’ front office will play the waiting game with their star and see if MacMahon’s report will deter teams from making offers for Harden. If NBA history is any indication, teams will take Harden’s little bit of bad to get themselves a three-time scoring champ.