James Harden’s move to the Philadelphia 76ers did not exactly pan out as initially expected, with the Beard looking like a shell of his old self. It speaks volumes that he received tons of criticisms for his play, as people kept saying that he’s washed and old. However, the Sixers star couldn’t care less.
Speaking with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Harden reminded his haters that he was not at his 100 percent last season. He also made it a point to emphasize (probably to warn his detractors and opponents) that he still averaged a near triple-double despite his condition.
Now imagine what he can do with an offseason alongside Joel Embiid and more practice time to develop chemistry with Tyrese Maxey. That’s something Harden is looking forward to see instead of listening to the critics.
“I don’t really listen to what people are saying. I wasn’t right last season and I still almost averaged a triple-double,” Harden shared. “If anybody else had those numbers, we’d be talking about them getting the max. People were used to seeing me averaging 40, 30 points, and so they viewed it as a down year. I was in Philadelphia for a couple of months and I had to learn on the fly. That’s just what it was. I’m in a good space physically and mentally right now, and I’m just looking forward to next season.”
James Harden certainly makes a great point. He did put up big numbers with the Sixers (21.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists), which many consider as bad given his scoring exploits during his time with the Houston Rockets.
Of course the main problem was not really Harden’s scoring but his impact to the game. Before, one can expect Harden to take over and just explode when his team needs buckets. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case since he looked passive more often than not.
The good news for Philly is that Harden seems to be more mentally ready for a bounce-back season. And after he commit long-term with the Sixers as well, hopes are high that his partnership with Joel Embiid will result to championships. No excuses or whatsoever.