The Los Angeles Clippers have already experienced quite a roller-coaster of emotions to begin the 2023-24 season. After trading for James Harden, the Clippers struggled mightily, losing five straight games after his arrival. But over the past ten games, Los Angeles has bounced back to win seven contests, pushing their record back to .500 at 10-10.
Individually, it's been a pretty bumpy start for Harden as well, as he has faced a lot of criticism since joining the Clippers and struggling to fit in with them. But with the team seemingly finding their way, Harden took a moment to reflect on all the chatter surrounding himself and LA, labeling himself an easy target after he forced his way off of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I mean yeah. Who wants to start on a 20-game win streak, you know what I mean like is that even possible? You see really good teams still struggling. You know what I mean. It’s just people wanted to say something because I got here and you know what I mean it was an easy target.” – James Harden, Sports Illustrated
James Harden knows the Clippers still have work to do
No matter what happens to Harden moving forward, he's likely going to continue getting criticized based on his team-hopping ways. However, it is worth noting that he has started to get a bit more comfortable with the Clippers, which has helped them start to win more games. Harden acknowledged that, even though they are breaking out of their slump, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done in LA right now.
James Harden on the Clippers finally reaching .500: "Whether it's a 6 game losing streak, or a 6 game winning streak. We've got a lot of things to figure out in a good way." pic.twitter.com/Ha753rzhLm
— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) December 7, 2023
Harden has been in the NBA long enough to know that the championship isn't won during a mid-week game in December, and that while they are fresh off an impressive victory over the defending champs in the Denver Nuggets, there is still work to be done in order for them to reach their full potential. If Harden can keep on growing into his new role with the Clippers, they should be in good shape, but as he notes here, their work is only just getting started.