James Harden Reportedly Holding Nets Teammates Accountable Since Joining TeamMarch 10, 2021
James Harden has not only played at a high level since joining the Brooklyn Nets in January, he has also taken on a leadership role.
Mike Mazzeo of Forbes noted a key moment was calling out DeAndre Jordan during a game in February.
"James has been holding his teammates accountable," a source told Mazzeo. "Enough was enough. DJ screwed up, and James let him know it. It's that combination of brutal honesty, and then he's performing at an MVP level. There's no comeback for that other than to say, 'You're right.'"
The Nets surged to second place in the Eastern Conference after winning 10 of their last 11 games before the All-Star break.
Harden has seen some numbers decline after winning three straight scoring titles with the Houston Rockets, but he has still averaged 25.5 points, 11.4 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game with the Nets.
The guard's 49.7 field-goal percentage and 42.2 three-point percentage in Brooklyn would be career highs over a full season.
He told reporters Sunday:
"I think I'm playing very, very good basketball right now, especially with everything we have been through as a team. How quick it's been as far as getting to know my teammates and being on the same court as them. The ultimate goal is to compete for a championship and win a championship. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Brooklyn. I think everybody in this organization feels the same way."
The 31-year-old forced his way out of Houston because he didn't feel like the squad could win a championship, but Harden's demeanor has been much different since joining the Nets.
"In Brooklyn, he's not making it about himself," a source told Mazzeo. "He's been very humble and gracious, making plays for others. And he's done a phenomenal job keeping himself in check."
This mentality could be enough to bring a title to Brooklyn.