Harden has to choose a route to greatness

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tanviraman, May 28, 2015.

  1. tanviraman

    tanviraman Contributing Member

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    We have praised and criticized Harden a lot this year. Recently we have really questioned his off the court character, and shared different opinions about the matter. I think we can all agree he has the talent to lead the league in scoring and be a top 3 player at all times. I believe in order to be the best at your sport you have to go one of these routes. Here is an example of different athletes in different sports that fall in the 2 categories. I believe Hakeem, Kobe Bryant, and Tom Brady are good examples of athletes that probably have fallen in both categories at some point in their career. The point is I don't care if Harden goes and parties with hookers at 4am in the morning, if he is the most mentally strong and competitive player on he court. Likewise if he is not mentally sick in a egotistical and competitive way, I hope he can settle down and get a stable personal life, where basketball is a shared first love with close friends and family. And he sleeps, eats, and consistently works on his game and becomes a well rounded leader and Houston community role model. Based on his personality right now he seems too laid back, but I can still see him going both ways. He sometimes shows an ultra competitive side like game 4 of the Warriors series and game 5 of the clippers series. And obviously there is the other route of not getting to that greatness mark either.


    Borderline sickness ultra competitive route
    Jordan
    Bryant
    Lance Armstrong
    Woods
    Magic
    Michael Irvin
    Young Hakeem

    Stability and Consistentcy
    Manning
    Federer
    Duncan
    Lebron
    Durant
    Jerry Rice
    Old Hakeem
     
  2. fonzie_004

    fonzie_004 Member

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    ummmm you just used Lance Armstrong as a reference to James Harden, so you want the dude to juice up to win?
     
  3. tanviraman

    tanviraman Contributing Member

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    No Lance is just an example of an ultra competitive guy that took it too far. But bottom line is he is still the best cyclist of all time. Everyone juiced in his sport, he was just a freak of nature both mentally and physically. We could argue Tom Brady wanted to win so bad that he potentially cheated too. My point is that route they are almost boarder line sick, but you cannot deny their dominance in their respective sports. Jordan and Lebron are not built the same mentally. I believe David Robinson said that Jordan tried to bet him on whose luggage would come out of the carasouel first at the airport. Of course Robinson replied I really don't care.
     
  4. emoreland

    emoreland Contributing Member

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    and lose a nut? Thats not ballin :grin:

    Seriously, the man is 25 years old and he is literally having to carry Houston's offense. Do you see how chaotic it is when he isnt in there? Everyone is looking around like they have no clue where to go with the ball. Most times they are lucky to get a clean look or even a shot off. He is incredibly gifted and as great a talent there is in the league but he is having to bring the ball up, initiate the offense, and score everytime while being guarded by top defenders in the league. And when he dances by those guys, he's got another defender waiting for him.

    He needs a pg so that he doesnt have to bring it up the court. He also needs someone who can take some pressure off of him so that he doesnt have to work so dang hard everytime. He is still human afterall and hes gonna get tired. I know he had a crazy amount of turnovers tonight but some of that has to be because hes worn down. He cant make every play, every possession, every time down the floor. He needs help and in my opinion gets unfairly criticized by jvg and other commentators who say he shouldnt pass the ball so much. What is perceived as him not "wanting the pressure" is not right and people forget that hes a 2-guard. Hes supposed to score...not score, rebound, get everyone else involved and bring the ball up the court. Luckily he does a great job at it but we need to get him some help.
     
  5. BossHogg713

    BossHogg713 Member

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    Harden will be fine guys. Hes just 25 and has failed many times but bounced back every year to show he's not mentally ready for tough games but improving in stats. It's ok. We are almost there.

    -- signed Texans GM
     
  6. Jake Tower

    Jake Tower Member

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    Where do you draw the line of Young/Old Hakeem? Because I remember seeing 11 year veteran 32 year old Hakeem DESTROY David Robinson because the NBA dared to give him the season MVP trophy, then go on to dominate young Shaq to win back-to-back titles, and Finals MVPs.
     
  7. tanviraman

    tanviraman Contributing Member

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    I agree with everything you're saying and I still thought he deserved the MVP, because to me it is a regular season award. But we don't win the Clippers series in game 6 with Harden's mentality, we won without it. You can criticize Jet, Brewer, and josh smith for not being good enough role players, but atleast Brewer and JET never gave up, and are mentally very competitive.

    Ariza is a prime example of a guy who mentally is so consistent and focused. And yes at 25, Harden is young and has that excuse. But eventually he has to grow up. And I'm just curious on what type of personality he will become. He is still shaping who he is.
     
  8. tanviraman

    tanviraman Contributing Member

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    Pretty much 2 years prior to that before he became a devout Muslim and embraced his religion which stabilized his personal life. From 84-92 he was a beast in a different way. Still extremely competitive, a little wreckless, partied too. But watch him in 86 against the Lakers and celtics. Or 87 against the sonics. He still is dominant and wants to win so bad. Hakeem was one of the players Michael Jordan somewhat feared and that was from those years. For him going the other route later in his career gave him peace and consitentcy, but he still had that incredibly competitive side. Kobe I believe did the opposite.
     
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  9. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Right. Going from All Star to top 5 player is nothing to cheer about. Let's just trade him for a bag of chips and move on.
     
  10. Kwame

    Kwame Contributing Member

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    He needs to stop drinking, going to strip clubs and doing drugs (allegedly). He should just convert to Islam and change his name to Hassan Harden. He's already got the beard. It did wonders for Hakeem once he became a practicing Muslim. If he can adhere to a religious lifestyle and become a pious man, the commitment it takes to win a title and achieve greatness will come naturally.
     
  11. Asian Sensation

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    Nailed it.
     
  12. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    He needs to stop listening to Drake.

    I recommend Tupac or Ice Cube (early years)
     
  13. Jake Tower

    Jake Tower Member

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    I care about his soul, so I won't endorse Harden going to the Mohammedan religion.

    He needs to give his heart to Christ, ask God to clothe him in His Grace, and die to his flesh.
     
  14. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    but hes only 25. Next year he would be 26. The year after that 27. I can count.
     
  15. RockingRox

    RockingRox Member

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    Many great points taken from OP, but it's impossible to agree with the bold above.

    That behavior just goes against physiology. An athlete's brain and muscles need more rest to prepare for the consumption of the sports. And yet losing sleep is the BIGGEST ENEMY EVER for the rest of his brain and muscles.

    This Rockets team needs a sleep doctor. Golden State Warriors have some kind of sleep consultant in order. I suspect that might have contributed to the overall health of the GSW in the long season and playoffs.
     
  16. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Great post. Hakeem was as driven and determined an athlete as anybody. Don't let his gentle nature, especially post Muslim, fool you.

    I'm not sure why people shoot down the Harden's only 25 argument so quickly? He has improved his game literally every single year. Maturity is something that we should all expect to come with that.
     
  17. BackNthDay

    BackNthDay Member

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    I only know this, the greatest Rocket ever (Dream) didn't win championships until he changed his personal night life and started his Islamic life. But trust, Dream had the same issues as Harden not at the strip club level though.
     
  18. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Are Harden's troubles on the court really due to his off-court activities? Because something tells me he's likely had plenty of great games following a night of partying at clubs or nudie bars. Barkley went to tons of strip clubs during his career and seemed to be able to bring it on most nights. Hell, Jordan was gambling in Atlantic City during the 1993 ECF vs the Knicks. Didn't seem to stop him from leading his team back from an 0-2 deficit(and scoring 54 in Game 4).

    I'm much more concerned about Harden's mood swings during games when his shot isn't falling and the refs aren't bailing him out with whistles. His tendency to start moping about and mentally checking out of the game has to stop. He did it on multiple occasions during the regular season as well as the playoffs.
     
  19. Panda23

    Panda23 Member

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    that is absolutely ridiculous to say that 'oh everyone was juicing so its fine'. Armstrong was the beneficiary of one of the most technically advanced doping programs for the better part of his career, it was the 'perfect' doping set up and allowed him to separate himself from the pack.

    You tell me if having elite sports scientists apply PEDs versus jacked up johnny at your local gym would reap similar benefits and you're left with the ghost of a point.
     
  20. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member

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    Pretty simple.

    They need to shut down the strip clubs the night before a Rockets game. Harden is out there slurping bottles and strippers the night before and puts in a piss poor performance and then comes back next game and drops 45 and then repeat the strip club thing and drops an egg
     
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