Jalen Rose says James Harden must mature as a basketball player
And yet, he is one of the most criticized players in the NBA due to his grating style of play and his inability to get it done when it matters in the playoffs.
Now, Chris Paul is apparently at odds with Harden, and rumor has it that the rift may be irreparable, which has resulted in Paul being placed on the trade block.
Former NBA player and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose feels that Harden’s on-court demeanor is becoming a big problem, saying that the veteran needs to “mature as a basketball player”:
"James Harden has to mature as a basketball player when he does not have the ball."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 19, 2019
Rose makes a lot of good points here.
In a nutshell, he is saying that Harden is only effective when he has the ball in his hands, and there is a lot of truth to that statement, which is why the Harden-Paul pairing was always an odd one from the very beginning.
Rose points out that you never see Harden running a fast break off the ball and that when he doesn’t have possession of the rock in the halfcourt set, he looks disinterested.
Harden has primarily been a ball-handler ever since he entered the league with the Oklahoma City Thunder way back in 2009, and while he is certainly far more ball-dominant now than he was then, it seems like he never truly learned what to do without the basketball.
Either that, or he just doesn’t want to do anything.