James Harden’s proof of leadership, per Nets coach Steve Nash
It has been so far so good for James Harden with his new team. Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash seems to agree, as he once again heaped praise on his superstar.
According to Nash, one thing that he believes stands out in Harden’s game is his leadership (h/t Ryan Herrera of the Houston Chronicle):
Steve Nash speaking to the media, says James Harden is doing well playing with other star players but is still a #1 guy. Refers to the #Rockets taking Golden State to 7 games in 2018 WCF as proof of his leadership.
— Ryan Herrera (@ryan_a_herrera) March 3, 2021
Harden is a tremendous scorer, a great passer, and we can even go as far as saying that he’s emerged as a relatively competent defender. However, being an excellent leader is not usually an asset one would instantly associate with the former MVP winner. Harden is not the most vocal player out there, and he doesn’t always step up to the plate when necessary — a couple of key reasons that contributed to why he never found ultimate success in his extended tenure with the Houston Rockets.
Nevertheless, Nash was quick to point out that Harden is an outstanding leader in his eyes. Prior to taking over the head coaching post with the Nets, Nash served as a consultant for the Golden State Warriors for several years. In 2018, he was with the Dubs when Harden and the Rockets pushed the Warriors to an epic seven-game series in the Western Conference Finals.
That experience clearly stuck with Nash, and it appears that the coach is adamant that this same leadership he is referring to is something that Harden has been able to exhibit in his brief time with the Nets thus far.