James Harden announced his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers at a news conference.
Three days after the long-awaited trade that brought him from the Philadelphia 76ers, the former MVP spoke to the media about the circumstances that led to his trade demand and his hopes moving forward. As many can guess, he has a lot to say about Billy’s leadership.
After calling himself “Very elite as an individual“While he was great in a team organization, Harden laid down in the Sixers’ front office and said he paid $26 million to play for the team and planned to retire there. Until they change their minds“They don’t want me.”
A breakdown in Harden’s relationship with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey dominated his demands to leave the team, particularly when he took the microphone in China and chanted, “Daryl Morey is a liar.” Another report pointed to Harden on Wednesday I don’t plan to talk to him again.
Harden fueled more rhetoric Thursday, describing his time with the Sixers as “Being on a rope.“
“Billy [was] Knowing that I can give more, knowing that I can do more, I change my role, but if you want me to be honest, it’s like being on a leash. I know, in order to get to where we want to go, I have to play a better offensive game of basketball and making Joel easier and scoring. [Embiid] as well as I didn’t really get that chance. I think that all plays into where I am today.”
It’s easy to scoff at that quote given how Harden led the NBA in assists last season and was a big part of the Sixers’ offense, but he also posted his lowest usage rate since 2012 (no doubt because of league MVP Joel Embiid).
When asked to expand on the leash line, Horton hinted more at communicating with his trainer than actual use in courtDropping the most circulated quote of the day:
“When I’m on a leash, I don’t mean shoot the basketball every time. I mean, I think of the game and I’m a creator on the court, so if I can be vocal where I can. [say] ‘Hey coach, I see this, what do you think of this?’ Then everything is fine. Someone who believes in me or believes in me and understands that I’m not a system player, I’m a system.
“Someone who can understand that conversation with me and go ahead and figure it out and make adjustments as the game goes on the fly, I really care. It’s not about what I’ve scored on the basketball … I’ve already done that.”
Harden isn’t the first to criticize former Sixers coach Doc Rivers’ changes to the game.
Naturally, the “I’m not a system player, I’m a system” became the conference’s most viral moment, as many were ready to paint Harden when the ball-dominant team disruptor seized on it as proof he didn’t have one. t is changed. This, perhaps not to him, but the reaction certainly seemed to vindicate Harden’s earlier declaration: “You’re always going to take something from what I say and turn it into a different story.”
As for when Harden will actually take the court with the Clippers, he said he will practice on Friday and plans to make his debut on Monday against the New York Knicks on the road. Murray according to athletic rules.
“Friend of animals everywhere. Devoted analyst. Total alcohol scholar. Infuriatingly humble food trailblazer.”