James Harden told a group of youngsters at a promotional event Friday that he’s working a new move that will “look like a travel but it’s not.”
Harden, when asked by one kid how he’s able to get away with “that traveling step-back,” responded that he will “come up with something more creative.”
“In the NBA, especially at the highest level of basketball, you got to find ways to get better every single year,” Harden said. “You got to find ways to create an advantage every single year. And that’s what I’m doing. It’s not a travel.
“This year, I’m going to come up with something more creative, and it’s gonna look like a travel but it’s not. Honestly! Even when I was on a tour, in Europe or China, or even when I’m here in the U.S., I see kids your guys’ age that are working on step-backs, working on moves, because it’s going to gain you an opportunity to be better than the rest of your peers. And that’s what I’m going for.
“So until they call it a travel, if they start calling it, I’ll continue to find ways and find ways to get creative and make my impact on the game.”
The 2018 MVP says he expects new All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook to have an “easy transition” with the Houston Rockets.
“I’m excited,” Harden said. “It’s a new chapter, but I know he’s excited. He’s been in Oklahoma City for 11 years so it’s a new chapter for him. We welcome him with open arms. It’s going to work.”
Harden was so confident about how Westbrook would fit, when asked about adjustments he or Westbrook would need to make he said: “None. None. None. We played with each other in the NBA and the (2012) Olympics and all that.
“When you have talent like that, it works itself out. You communicate. You go out there and compete possession by possession. You figure things out. Throughout the course of the season, you figure things out. That’s just what it is. When you have talent, you have guys with IQ, you have guys willing to sacrifice, it always works itself out.”
Harden showed he was aware of the questions about meshing his style with Westbrook’s when asked about the pairing by one of the campers to participate in Harden’s camp over the weekend. But he was also unconcerned.
“That’s my boy right there, since I was like 10 or 11 years old,” Harden said. “Obviously, we were teammates for (three) years. Now, we’re at different stages of our careers. I’m excited for the opportunity. I hear a lot of negative things: you can’t, he can’t, they can’t. But we’ll figure it out. I’m excited for the opportunity. I know the rest of the organization is. It’s time.”