Helin: James Harden won’t sacrifice to win a title

James Harden wants to win an NBA title, sure, but he isn't willing to change his game in order to do so, Kurt Helin says

Reiter Than You
January 07, 2021 - 2:53 pm
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James Harden has accomplished a lot in his NBA career. He’s won an MVP, he’s won Olympic gold, he’s been an eight-time All-Star, and he’s led the league in scoring three years in a row.

But he’s never won an NBA title. In fact, he’s played in the NBA Finals just once – in 2012, when he was Sixth Man of the Year.

Will Harden, 31, ever win it all as the best player on his team? 

Kurt Helin says no.

“I’m not sold that he is willing to [sacrifice],” the NBC Sports NBA writer said on Reiter Than You. “There are sacrifices. If you are going to win a title, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had to make huge sacrifices [in Miami]. Kevin Love, people forget how much Kevin Love scored and what a beast he was [in Minnesota]. Completely [adjusted] his game in Cleveland to fit around LeBron, and Kyrie did the same. Kevin Durant in Golden State – I can go on down the list. If you’re going to win a title, you’ve got to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team, and I’m just not convinced he’s going to be willing to do that.”

Harden is averaging 29.4 points and 11.0 assists per game – both third in the NBA. But the Rockets are 2-4, and Harden wants out of Houston.

“If he goes to Toronto, he’s still going to want the same usage rate,” Helin said. “He’s still going to want to get all those touches, and he’s just taking the ball away from other players. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he wants to win. But I’m not convinced.”