James Harden is one of the best offensive players the NBA has ever seen. Despite this, he tends to get heavily disrespected by those in the basketball community. Some find his playing style to be incredibly boring while others take issue with how he depends on free throws to get all of his points. Regardless of how you feel about him, there is no denying that he is one of the best players in the league, night in and night out. He gives the Rockets a chance to win and that’s all you can really ask of him.
In a recent interview with GQ, Harden spoke about the criticism against his playing style and was quick to defend himself. As he explains, his play isn’t too far off from some of the greats that came before him.
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“So you look at Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan…they ISO’d, right? Tim Duncan and Shaq were big men, so they ISO’d in the post. It’s the same thing as ISO’ing on the wing. The object is to draw a double team, create an opportunity for your teammates, and get them an open shot. Well, my ISO’s at the top of the floor. And now we get double teams, triple teams. And all different types of defenses to be able to try to guard us. Well, it’s the same thing. We’re at the top of the floor for the ISO, and I get a double team and I swing it, we get an open shot. When Tim Duncan posted up, they double-teamed him, he kicked it out, swing, open three to his teammate. “Oh, that’s good offense.” Well, it’s the same thing.”
Needless to say, Harden won’t be switching up his style anytime soon. For better or for worse, this is what the Rockets will look like for a long time.