After jettisoning Dwight Howard in the offseason, the Houston Rockets once again belong to James Harden.
The Bearded One has come to embrace his responsibilities as a leader. He hosted a players-only minicamp last weekend, and teammates are raving about Harden’s sharpened mindset.
After looking deeply into the mirror this summer, Harden even promised to patch up his biggest weakness: He declared Friday at media day that he will play defense this year.
“I have to be better. I will be better. I’m more than capable,” Harden told reporters.
Despite Harden’s offensive capabilities, his defensive shortcomings have been a blight on his career. That’s how he managed to average 29 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.7 steals last season without even getting an All-NBA Third Team nod.
“I know I can play defense and offense. Last year was a blur. We all go through it in life,” Harden said.