Right now, James Harden is the man in the Houston basketball world. He packs the Toyota Center on a regular basis, captivating fans and players alike. He shoots with grace, attacks with ferocity, and wears the most shameless beard in the NBA. Yes, a fan favorite, no doubt. But, can Houston win a championship with James Harden?
I don’t think so. For all his flair and fame, it looks impossible to build any kind of team around that guy. Dwight Howard is a joke, very much in bad taste. Rumors of Howard and Harden’s unstable relationship has surfaced more than once. Trevor Ariza is underwhelming at best. And it just gets worse from there. Needless to say, James Harden didn’t sign these guys, but it wouldn’t be a far cry that he’s the reason they can’t attract other top tier free agents: he’s a ball-hog, a showboat, and a ghost on defense. Those ingredients sell tickets; they don’t win titles.
If Rockets’ fans are content with Harden scoring 28 points a game off pick and rolls and ten second possessions, I won’t stand in their way. But, they won’t beat the Spurs that way; they won’t beat the Thunder that way; and there’s no way they even slow down the Warriors that way.
How many championship teams revolved solely around one player? For every Michael Jordan there is a Scottie Pippen, and for every James Harden there’s an empty trophy room. Time for a change, Houston.