NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal Describes What James Harden Needs to Do to Be Successful

Published 01/02/2021, 2:33 PM EST
Dec 26, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports


James Harden has been in the news for quite a while now. Although he had demanded a trade from the Houston Rockets before the start of the off-season, he hasn’t seen any significant progress as far as his relocation is concerned.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Harden sees himself in a precarious situation. With his prime slipping out of his hand, the Beard knows that he has to win now.  Lakers’ legend Shaquille O’Neal, in a recent appearance on the All Things Covered podcast, opened up about what Harden needs to do in order to succeed.

He said, “You could be the best player in the world, but you still got to sacrifice.” He added, “Lot of people don’t like the dribble, dribble, dribble shoot.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

You look at Golden State when there was only time it was pass-pass-pass the best shot. Unless he scores 50 or 60 every night, which is really hard, it’s gonna be hard trying to do it all by himself. He needs to utilize his teammates.”

He added, “I just think he was to learn to sacrifice more. Like when you got the ability to get 40, it’s cool. I’m trying to get enough points for us to win, enough points pat to get his shot and for you to get your shot, everybody to be happy, everybody playing on a high level.

“If you got guys not touching the ball and not being in rhythm when it comes to crunch time, they ain’t gonna never be ready.”

Harden has been clinical in the first three games, averaging 37 points, 11 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. Although he did not look at the best shape possible, he has answered all his doubters in some fashion with such a start.

Can James Harden & the Rockets become a top team in Western Conference?

The Rockets were off to a rocky start to their regular season as they lost 2 games in a row. They barely had 9 players on their side and thus lacked support for Harden.

The biggest positive from the games was that their free signing, Chris Wood, emerged as a solid player and could prove to be a much-needed boost in the forward position, and the other was their star still in elite scoring form.

Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and guard David Nwaba (2) speak in the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

They finally got their first win of the regular season and saw the return of new signings John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Both Wall and Cousins looked impressive in their debuts and the organization will hope that they can co-exist with Harden.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Given how reluctant the Rockets have been in trading him, Harden should look to make the most of this Rockets outfit. The recent additions of Wall, Cousins, and Wood can be a big help to ‘The Beard’.

The team is building on the existing chemistry and will hope that they can integrate the newer additions to the squad.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

This Rockets team might be the last resort for Harden to be the main man and lead a team to an NBA championship. Given how uncertain the season has been, the Rockets can pull off a surprise or two in the Western Conference.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aditya Mohapatra

696 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT