Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, NBA, Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden’s Latest Selfish Act; Winning An NBA Championship For His Legacy

There’s a lot of great words being spoken about James Harden today after the bearded NBA star told Yahoo Sports that he was willing to give up millions of dollars so the Philadelphia 76ers could obtain the necessary components to seriously compete for an NBA Championship next season.

“I had conversations with [team president] Daryl [Morey], and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give me whatever is left over,” Harden said to Yahoo Sports. “This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in position to accomplish that.”

Overall this is great; by giving up a large part of his salary, this allows for the Sixers financial flexibility to pursue a couple key players in search of a championship. Harden is walking the walk and not just saying the words. With this move, Harden is showing he’s committed to winning and willing to sacrifice millions of dollars so he can finally win a championship alongside fellow all-star Joel Embiid. The sportsbooks will reflect that, too. Depending on who the players the Sixers use those extra millions on, Philadelphia’s chances to win the NBA championship has improved dramatically.  Now’s the time to put some money on the Sixers by depositing a few bucks via PayPal a casual bet or two on your favorite championship contender.

However not everyone is praising Harden. There’s a lot of NBA heads that are looking at this as a last-ditch desperate attempt to win a championship because Harden sees that his window is closing. And Fast.

Is It Too Little Too Late?

This was clearly a move that puts the Sixers in better position to win, but it’s also because Harden sees the writing on the wall. His basketball mortality is very clear — he’s on the other side of the hill. If last season was any indication, the soon-to-be 33 year old James Harden lost a couple steps. Steps that were crucial for Harden to get to the basket and free throw line; a key to what made Harden one of the league’s most unstoppable offensive force in the past.

He’s still a star that averaged 22 points, 7.7 rebounds, and  10.3 rebounds last season, but the decline was on display. The 22 points he put per night was the lowest he’s averaged in the last twelve seasons.

On top of that, Harden’s 41% from the field was his lowest since his rookie year. His 33% shooting from three was the lowest mark in his career and his free throw attempts the last two seasons are by far the lowest in the last 10 years.

 

 

 

 

Listen $15 million is a lot of money no matter how much money you’ve made in your career, but it’s much easier to forgo when you made approximately a quarter BILLION in your career. According to Sports-made, Harden has earned $227,685,662 in his twelve year NBA career. Keep in mind that this is just the money he’s earned from his NBA salary and not counting the millions he’s earned from endorsements and partnerships with Adidas, State Farm, BEATS, BodyArmor, and Stance.

Harden should definitely be applauded for sacrificing for the better of the team, but what shouldn’t be lost is Harden’s lack of commitment in the past. There’s certainly a contingent of NBA fans (in Oklahoma City, Houston and Brooklyn) that have not forgotten that Harden’s commitment to winning has been questioned in the past. Whether it was his effort on defense, his problems with staying in shape, spending too much time partying, his selfish play, his focus on individual numbers over team success, disappearing in big games, or the fact that he’s forced the last two franchises to trade him when he was unhappy.

For many, this move by Harden could be seen as too little too late. An act of finally realizing that the prime of his career is quickly coming to a close and that if he finishes his career without an NBA championship there is no legacy. History only talks about GOATS and legacies when they’ve won a championship.

Harden doesn’t want to win an NBA Championship for the city of Philadelphia, for the Sixers franchise (he hasn’t been there long enough) or for Joel Embiid, James Harden wants an NBA Championship solely for his legacy.

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