In a move that has electrified the basketball world, James Harden has decided to bring his exceptional talents to the LA Clippers. Both the Clippers organization and their fans are buzzing with anticipation, fully expecting that Harden's primary motivation is to secure that elusive NBA championship title.
A History of Sacrifice and Adaptation
Lawrence Frank, the LA Clippers' president of basketball operations, is no stranger to Harden's commitment and ability to modify his playing style for the greater good of the team.
Reflecting on Harden's time in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, Frank notes, "LA has seen a pattern of Harden sacrificing his game to adapt to talent around him." These instances include his injury-shortened tenure with Brooklyn's Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and more recently, with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.
However, the hunger for team success overshadows individual accolades for Harden. Despite his outstanding record - "He's a 10-time All-Star," as Frank proudly acknowledges - the star guard's focus remains unwavering. Harden's vision? "He wants to win a championship for the LA Clippers.
He wants to be part of something bigger than himself."
Building a Dream Team in LA
Paul George revealed that discussions with Harden regarding his inclusion in the Clippers lineup had been ongoing for quite some time. The extended trade talks with the Sixers culminated in Harden's move to LA, a decision that was collectively agreed upon by the Clippers' major stars.
George emphasized the mutual enthusiasm and commitment, stating, "We all said we think we can make it work, [that] we'll figure it out." An intriguing subplot to this saga is the local connection. All four of the Clippers' star players hail from Southern California, igniting hopes that their shared roots will foster exceptional teamwork.
George poses the question on everyone's mind: "What better story to be told than for four Southern Cal guys to do what's never been done before and be champions?" Kawhi Leonard, however, offers a pragmatic viewpoint. While recognizing the need for sacrifices, he insists players must retain their individual confidence and drive.
Leonard believes in a "selfish mindset," where every player steps onto the court ready to give their best, trusting the team dynamics to unfold naturally. Echoing Leonard's sentiments, Russell Westbrook, who previously played with Harden in Houston, underscores the importance of realistic expectations. He reminds fans and teammates alike that there will be "ups and downs," but remains hopeful of the road ahead.
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