By winstonharris on August 31, 2014
There hasn’t been a beard that has struck more fear in the hearts of opponents than that of James Harden, and for good reason. He is one of the best scorers in the NBA in only a short tenure, and the Houston Rockets are depending on him to carry them this season. Since Harden is due for a career season, let’s check out his body of work up to date.
In 2012, Harden had his first and only shot at an NBA title with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite losing to the Miami Heat in five games, Harden held his own by averaging 12.4 points and 3.6 assists a game. Many people expected more from Harden, but in all fairness, it was his first appearance in the big show against LeBron James.
In his five seasons, it’s hard to believe Harden is only a two time All-Star. In those two appearances, Harden managed to put up a total of 23 points, which is nothing compared to what he is capable of doing. Don’t be surprised if Harden adds an All-Star Game MVP award to his resume.
While playing third fiddle to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Harden was able to earn the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award back in 2012. His 16.8 points and 3.7 assists per game that year was one of the main reasons the Thunder made it to the NBA Finals.
Harden was apart of the stacked 2012 Men’s USA Olympic Basketball Team, which defeated Spain in the Gold Medal game. Winning at the International level is an accomplishment that very few have the opportunity to be a part of. This experience definitely helped Harden elevate his game to the level we see today.
The five-year, million contract extension that Harden signed with the Houston Rockets was the smartest decision of his career. He made himself the centerpiece for what could be a championship team one day. The contract symbolized his growth from the sixth man of Oklahoma City to the outright leader of the Rockets’ franchise.
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