James Harden: Critics ‘Belittle What I’m Doing’

James Harden hears the negative chirping, but refuses to let it affect his laser-like focus.

“I’m not going to stop working,” vows Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer (38.9 PPG) who continues to put up historic numbers.

The Houston Rockets and their all-world superstar remain well aware that they will continue to be ultimately judged by what happens in the playoffs.

Per USA Today:

“People can overlook that, or want to talk about the negative things, or the things they feel like they can talk about to belittle what I’m doing,” Harden said. “But I’ll continue to do it because guess what? I’m not going to stop working.”

How does a seven-time All-Star and two-time league scoring champion improve each season amid increasingly swarming defenses?

“It doesn’t just happen because it happens,” Harden said. “I work every single day.”

The Rockets cannot dispute the difference in Harden’s regular-season and playoff performances in 2016-17 (29.1 points on 44% shooting, 28.5 points on 41.3% shooting), 2017-18 (30.4 points on 44.9% shooting, 28 points on 41% shooting) and 2018-19 (36.1 points on 44.2% shooting, 31.6 points on 41.3% shooting). For a franchise that prides itself on studying analytics, though, the Rockets added context.

“I don’t see any evidence,” [Mike] D’Antoni said of Harden’s perceived playoff struggles. “Has he had any 70-point games? No. Nobody in the playoffs does that.”

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