‘Win on Their Terms’: NBA Executive Explains How James Harden Is the Allen Iverson of Modern Era

Published 01/06/2021, 12:50 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 established himself as one of the best scorers NBA has ever seen. In the 12 years he has been in the league, he has led the league in scoring three times in a row.

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The Beard, over the years, has amassed numerous individual accolades but has one trophy missing from his cabinet- the coveted NBA title. A veteran executive from the Eastern Conference team recently spoke to Sports Illustrated. When asked whether Harden is willing to sacrifice to win the championship, the executive had an interesting take.

He said, “I don’t think he is,” He added, “James is like Allen Iverson: He wants to win his way and put up historical numbers while he’s winning. I would never question their desire to win, but they all want to win on their terms.”

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Harden’s career progression is very similar to that of Allen Iverson. AI, similar to Harden, was one of the best ISO basketball players NBA has ever seen. AI also had multiple scoring titles and even made an appearance at the NBA finals. He unfortunately lost to the Lakers and never made the Finals again.

With his prime years slipping away, Harden will be desperate to win a championship. The 31-year-old has made multiple appearances in the Conference finals but was made it across the hump.

Can James Harden win the NBA Championship with the Rockets?

The Rockets have been one of the top teams in the West for some time now, thanks to James Harden. The front office has regularly tried to bring in more players to complement the 2017-18 MVP.

They have always come very close to reach the top of the West but are somehow hindered by injuries, or superior teams like the Lakers or the Warriors.

Last season, the team shook things up and go for a small-ball approach. The team was devoid of a center. They also brought in Harden’s long-time friend, Russell Westbrook. All those moves just did not work for them and ultimately failed miserably.

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Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If a team is so committed to a star, it speaks volumes about how much they value him. They have traded for John Wall who Harden wants to play with. In the first three games he has played, he has looked unstoppable.

This season they have added a dominant center in DeMarcus Cousins, who is a good offensive player too. They have added Christian Wood from the free agency who is a significant addition for them and has emerged as a star for the team.

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The Houston Rockets have made some interesting moves and have added players who are ready to compete. The major problem they may face is the difference in the play style Silas is trying to implement and the way Harden plays. If Harden can fit in Silas’ system, this team can be unstoppable and challenge for the championship. Is Harden willing to change his play style?

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Aditya Mohapatra

879 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.

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