Harden: No player had more responsibility than me
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Harden: No player had more responsibility than me

james harden

Houston Rockets guard James Harden acknowledged the critical flaws in his game defensively, but he insists that the criticism doesn’t really bother him.

Harden recently spoke with NBA.com, opening up about his role on the Rockets:

Everybody makes mistakes. I can look up the same amount of plays for myself as the other top guys in the league. So I don’t really worry, I don’t focus on it.

Harden specifically points out that his work load is certainly a factor in his ability to play defense:

It’s really difficult to go out there, play all 82 games, lead the league in minutes, and have to do everything offensively. I mean, no one else had that weight on their shoulders in the league.

He does remain optimistic, and he is looking for things to get better.

The Rockets have already started making changes after last year’s disastrous season, primarily with the departure of Dwight Howard. The first task was hiring Mike D’Antoni as head coach, and defensive coach Jeff Bzdelik

More from Harden:

You know, everybody talks about, ‘The Rockets aren’t a good defensive team.’ Well, we got one of the best defensive coaches in the league now. So it’s all about preparation. In this league it’s all about preparation, putting guys in positions where they’re successful, and good things happen.

The Rockets also signed Eric Gordon, sharpshooter Ryan Anderson, and Nene in free agency.

Harden believes the added talent will help with the load offensively, which will allow him to focus more on the defensive end.

He’s excited about working with his new teammates and coaches, and establishing a culture within the organization that promotes doing things the right way and holding each other accountable, which he believes they lacked last year.

Harden signed a four-year, $118 million contract extension last month. He hopes that the 2016-17 season will be different:

I’m just excited to have some stability, have some guys who are going to work and focus on winning. This year’s going to be a lot better.

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