Perhaps the question that was going through people’s minds after the deal to trade James Harden to the Houston Rockets finalized was what type of player were they going to receive? Now that James Harden no longer plays under the shadow of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, what would James Harden do with the spotlight. What he did was shine in a way very few NBA players have done before.
In his debut against the Detroit Pistons from the opening tip off till the end of the game, James Harden was a force on both sides of the ball; by the end of the game. James Harden finished with 37 points and 12 assists. To put this performance in perspective, James Harden became only the fourth player to tally at least 37 points, 12 assists, six rebounds, four steals, and a block in the past 25 seasons. He joins the elite company of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Dwyane Wade as the only players to accomplish this feat. Many may criticize James performance by noting that the Detroit Pistons were not a particularly strong team, and the fact that he had to play 44 minutes. No matter how some may discredit his performance, the vast majority will agree that James Harden is a rising star and trading him may end up being one of the worst decisions the Oklahoma City Thunder organization have ever made.