HoopsHype James Harden rumors

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February 19, 2015 Updates

Harden will never be the loudest voice in the locker room—-especially not a locker room with Dwight Howard—but from the courtside seats at Toyota Center his mother can hear him getting in the ears of Patrick Beverley and Josh Smith and Trevor Ariza. She remembers how coaches used to ask her why he wouldn’t take charge. Go to work, she’d have to tell him. “He’s like a different person,” Willis says. Predictably, Harden tops the NBA in win shares this season, but he also ranks eighth in defensive win shares and second in steals. He is locking down despite the departures of Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin, whose exits left Houston even more reliant on Harden. Sports Illustrated

February 18, 2015 Updates

Q: Do you resent the organization for trading James Harden? Kevin Durant: Do I resent the organization? Nah. Hell nah. Let's look at it this way. We won 60 games the year he was gone, we won 59 the next year. Had a few injuries, never know what would have happened. So not at all. Plus they signed me to a max deal (smiles). Oklahoman

Q: A lot of people on the outside looking in think that might be a factor in your decision next summer, the fact that they traded James and the talent hasn't been the same as in the past and you haven't been to the Finals since. What impact does that decision in 2012 make on your decision next summer? Kevin Durant: None. None. We're still a good team. Still a good team. Let's be real now. We'd still be up there if we didn't have injuries. If I wasn't out, if Russ wasn't out, we'd be up there. So don't act like we a bad team or we got worse. Nah, we had injuries. It's a part of the game and I understand that, not crying about it. But that's what happened. We lost Russell for a playoff series, we lost Serge for a playoff series. Stuff like that happens, but to say all because we lost James we didn't make it to the Finals. Everybody's going to have their opinion, especially with the time winding down and the summer coming up with me, but I love where I'm at right now and I'm just trying to focus on that every single day. Oklahoman

Were the Thunder being loyal to Durant and his teammates when they traded James Harden, two and a half years ago, breaking up the best young core in the league in order to save a few luxury-tax dollars? Has the team ever really given Durant what he needs to win? Durant has been asked this question so many times he may not realize that he's begun answering it honestly. "Players are paid to do their jobs, no matter who's on the court. And as superstars, you gotta lead what you have. You gotta make them better. Some players might be better than others. Some teams might be better than others. You gotta do your job, and you gotta trust that the front office is going to do their job. It's hard, though. You know what I'm saying? Because it's like, shit, I want win. Obviously our players aren't as good as, you know, than they were before. But you have to figure it out." GQ.com

February 17, 2015 Updates
February 16, 2015 Updates
February 15, 2015 Updates

“That’s my right hand man,” Harden said of Durant. “I’ve learned so much from him, he’s going through a tough time right now, battling all these injuries, but he’s a strong-minded person; he’s going to battle through it, fight through it. I just try to send him text messages here and there to give him motivation and courage, so when he gets back on the court he’ll be 100 percent. Obviously [then] he gets back on the court and scores 40 points and only misses five shots – that’s really unheard of.” Basketball Insiders

February 14, 2015 Updates

Jonathan Feigen: Harden and company were stuck in an elevator for 25 minutes. Here in time and on practice court with Rockets asst. coach Matt Brase now. Twitter @Jonathan_Feigen

February 13, 2015 Updates

"You guys vote on the MVP and I think MVP is a lot about narratives and what may happen during that time," Durant said when asked about the difference between a great season and a player having an MVP-type season. "There's a lot of guys that play extremely well for years and years and just starting to get MVP consideration. But I think that consistent play sometimes gets a little boring to people but if you look at a guy like James Harden, he's been doing it for three years, same things and people start to act like it's new. Steph Curry has been doing the same thing for three years and I guess the narrative (is) around their team but what he's been doing is new to everybody," Durant continued. "Once you guys really watch games and realize what these guys have been doing consistently for years, it's nothing new. It's all the same. I guess the hype around it is a little different so... of course everybody gets better but if you stay consistent in what you do it's not like they came out of nowhere." ESPN.com

Nobody wants to lose a player such as Dragic, especially in exchange for a first-round pick. But if you saw James Harden dominate down the stretch Tuesday, you know exactly what this team needs most. And the reason the Suns don't have Harden in their organization is because they didn't have assets ready to move when the former Arizona State star hit the trade market. "We tried like heck to get him," Babby said. "I was on the phone with (Oklahoma City GM) Sam Presti every single day. But going through that experience led me to believe we have to do what we're doing now, garnering assets and players that will be attractive to others." Arizona Republic

While Morey was especially incensed by Barkley’s criticism of his methods and the 36-17 Rockets’ team defense, Houston’s star guard told For The Win he doesn’t pay attention to such critiques. “I didn’t know anything about that,” Harden, who is the newest athlete endorser of elastic sports tape KT Tape, said Wednesday. “Things like that, I’m not worried about it. That can get me sidetracked on what I need to do in my job. If I worry about those things, I wouldn’t be doing my job. I worry about what I can control and focus on my team and trying to win basketball games.” For The Win

February 12, 2015 Updates
February 11, 2015 Updates
February 10, 2015 Updates

James Harden has another event for All-Star weekend. Harden and fellow All-Stars Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are among the players to compete in the NBA’s first fashion show. Produced by LeBron James’ Springhill Production Company, the one-hour “NBA All-Star All-Style” will be taped Friday night inside New York’s Hammerstein Theater and air Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on TNT. Houston Chronicle

February 5, 2015 Updates
February 4, 2015 Updates

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