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[ESPN / Watkins] The offseason of James Harden begins today

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Deuce, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">James Harden's plan for the offseason. <a href="https://t.co/GpoQBGGDM7">https://t.co/GpoQBGGDM7</a></p>&mdash; Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) <a href="https://twitter.com/calvinwatkins/status/746442726523076608">June 24, 2016</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    http://espn.go.com/blog/houston-rockets/post/_/id/2682/the-offseason-of-james-harden-begins-today

    The offseason of James Harden begins today

    HOUSTON -- This is supposed to be a big summer for Kevin Durant. He’s the highly sought-after free agent numerous NBA teams want on their roster.

    Who knows what Durant is thinking following the draft-night moves of his current team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who seemed to steal the night from the 29 other teams with their blockbuster deal with Orlando.

    One man who is watching Durant’s every move wants this to be the Summer of Harden.

    James Harden, the Houston Rockets shooting guard, underwent a dramatic national transformation this past season. He went from finishing second to Stephen Curry in the MVP vote in 2015, elevating his game on the offensive and defensive ends, to someone who wasn’t named to any of the three All-NBA teams in 2016.

    Harden’s numbers were fantastic, as he led the NBA in minutes played, field goal attempts, free throws made and attempted, and total points. He finished third in usage rate and offensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference.

    Harden also was fourth in the league in value over replacement with a mark of 6.9.

    The negatives for Harden were the turnovers, first with 374, and that his defensive rating per 100 possessions was 108.

    Harden's leadership abilities were questioned, his nearly season-long friction with Dwight Howard drained the team, and then his group finished just 41-41 -- eighth in the Western Conference.

    The fall for Harden and his team was something he couldn’t accept. So he’s decided to take a direct approach in changing his narrative.

    He’s elected to skip playing for the U.S. Olympic team, instead channeling his energies toward recruiting high-quality free agents, starting with Durant, his good friend from their three seasons together in OKC.

    Harden is also making sure he’s on the same page with the head coach. Gone is Kevin McHale, fired 11 games into last season, and also departed is J.B. Bickerstaff, the interim coach who tried to coax the team to greater heights.

    Mike D'Antoni, the man who elevated Steve Nash's game as a playmaker in his time with the Phoenix Suns, is in charge now.

    Harden said he has spoken with D’Antoni about getting better so that, well, his team can get better.

    “I’m really excited,” Harden said. “I’ve been meeting with him for the last couple of days and just going over the different scenarios and different situations he can put me in to where I can be effective. I’m really excited and I’m excited for our team for next year.”

    It would seem on the surface that D’Antoni needs a point guard such as Nash to run the offense. Is there a free agent on the market or someone else via a trade to do such a thing?

    Based on what Harden said, taking the ball out of his hands isn’t in the grand plans. If anything, D’Antoni wants Harden to continue handling the ball, with the addition of more playmakers.

    “Everything comes with getting more playmakers and getting guys who can create,” Harden said. “So July 1 is going to be very interesting; we’re very excited.”

    GM Daryl Morey is of the belief that the Rockets can improve in free agency, and the two centers selected in Thursday’s draft shouldn’t preclude the franchise from adding depth.

    Meanwhile, the determination for Harden has never been greater, seeing how his reputation has taken a massive hit.

    Harden wants to get better. Needs to get better.

    “I’m a part of the process,” he said. “I want to win. I want to get back the winning ways that Houston is about. I got to be part of that process, and obviously I got to come back as a better basketball player individually, making sure the cast around me is ready to go and we’re on the same page.”

    The offseason, for many, is about finding what makes you a better player, and that’s something Harden is striving for this summer.

    It begins with free agency, so by not getting all his shots for Rio, Harden will be available to have dinner with Durant and whoever else steps in the city limits looking for a new deal.

    “Last year was very frustrating, as an organization, in Houston,” he said. “So for me I think [it's about] trying to get our winning ways back and back to championship ways, just being part of that free-agency process and trying to get guys to Houston and trying to win. I think that right now is something I’m trying to focus on.”
     
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  2. ilovehtownbb

    ilovehtownbb Member

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  3. Houston22

    Houston22 Member

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  4. rocketsballin

    rocketsballin Member

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    get those strippers james ;)
     
  5. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    Glad he'll be recruiting. He's got a lot of work to do.
     
  6. RESINator

    RESINator Member

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    So he gave up Rio to party more?

    Let's call it for what it is. He is lazy. All talk and no actions. This stands until after see him put in the work.
     
  7. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos MoRley only Fan
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  8. CertifiedTroll

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    Conditioning and sobriety would be a good start.
     
  9. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Translation: Instead of being in Rio, I'll be available to go out partying with Durant and whoever else steps in the city limits. Strip clubs in Houston better get ready, the Harden train is coming in hot.
     
  10. Vivi

    Vivi Member

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    So, a somehow positive piece from ESPN!?

    Anyway you have no chance James, just stay home, Durant does not consider us.
     
  11. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    LOL....OKAY.

    <iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5p1Gs3vT1vA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  12. Texanasiafan

    Texanasiafan Member

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    I checked the Chron.com and all other major TV stations and radio stations of H-town after reading this thread,

    and still failed to find out any news about any new strip clubs grand opening today.

    Anyone kind enough to share the details?
     
  13. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    They should have hired Chuck Hayes for that commercial, he's more well liked while playing for other cities.
     
  14. Houstunna

    Houstunna The Most Unbiased Fan
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    Rockets surging!!
     
  15. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Contributing Member

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    Maybe you should search UK news, I hear pounds depreciated a lot. Any new strip clubs grand opening in UK?
     
  16. Da Wink

    Da Wink Member

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    who's the first FA visit by Harden and Co.? KD is given..who's next?
     
  17. Francis3422

    Francis3422 Member

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    The most awesome thing about it is that it justifies him partying. Grand.


    DD
     
  18. HayesIsBack

    HayesIsBack Member

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  19. IslandB.O.I.

    IslandB.O.I. Member

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    Except that Durant is going to Rio....kind of makes me wonder...
     
  20. gdinamite

    gdinamite Member

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    It's a good sign.
     
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