Brooklyn Nets: James Harden pokes back at critics of his leadership style

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 15: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 15: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have stepped on the accelerator over the last few weeks, as the addition of James Harden to a team that already had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving has turned the Nets into the NBA’s premier offensive team. They flexed their muscle in Harden’s first game against his old Houston Rockets team since the trade.

Brooklyn took down Houston 132-114, and while Bruce Brown continued to score and Nic Claxton had his best game of the year, it was Harden who stole the show again.

The Beard scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and totaled 14 assists, giving him his eighth triple-double in 23 games as a Net.

While Harden has obviously been showing out on the court, head coach Steve Nash took the time to mention just how impressive he’s been in the locker room, as his style of leadership has really won over the rest of the squad.

Harden said that he is leading Brooklyn in the exact same way that he helped lead his old Rockets teams, claiming that he is only getting “credit” after his trade to the Nets.

James Harden is thriving with the Brooklyn Nets

It’s fair for Harden to be a bit ticked off by how he is represented. Not only was he known for taking his Rockets teammates to the Bahamas for team bonding exercises, but he was the linchpin for a roster that was a perpetual presence in the playoffs. That doesn’t happen without some strong leadership.

Harden has had to do some adjusting both on and off the court, as Durant and Irving are both alpha-males that can take games over. Not only has he given up going for 40 points every night and reinvented himself as the primary point guard, but he’s done so in a way that has endeared him to his team and coaching staff.

Yes, Harden might not have left Houston on the best of terms. And yes, he might like to galavant around and enjoy the amenities of whatever city he plays in. When it comes to basketball, he’s locked in.

The fact that a player who scored at a rate we haven’t seen since Michael Jordan was so willing to give up shots in the name of helping his team win should silence the haters. Harden has proven that he’s willing to do anything and everything if it means he can finally slip a ring on his finger with the Nets.

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