NBA: James Harden’s Politeness on Court is a Challenge for LA Clippers’ Ambitions

The Los Angeles Clippers, a team with aspirations of NBA glory, recently made a significant move by acquiring James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the transition has not been smooth. Harden, known for his scoring prowess and playmaking abilities, has seen a dip in his performance, averaging his lowest scoring numbers since his sophomore year. Head coach Tyronn Lue pinpointed the issue: Harden is being “too polite” on offense, a comment that resonates in the context of the Clippers’ recent struggles.

James Harden’s Politeness on Court A Challenge for Clippers’ Ambitions

Harden’s Adjustment Struggles

James Harden’s start with the Clippers has been less than ideal. Since his debut against the New York Knicks, he’s averaged 15.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists, with a shooting percentage of 47.1% from the field and 37.0% from the three-point line. These numbers, although decent for many, are underwhelming for a player of Harden’s caliber. His scoring average is the lowest since his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in the 2010-11 season.

Ty Lue’s Candid Assessment

Coach Ty Lue, in a candid expression of concern, attributed Harden’s subdued performances to his excessive efforts to blend in with the team. Lue emphasized the need for Harden to be himself, to take control and make plays as he did in his previous teams. Lue’s strategy involves playing through Harden, allowing him to run pick-and-rolls, and essentially, to lead the team’s offense.

Rookie Luka Doncic making an 11-0 run in the clutch by himself to beat James Harden’s Rockets

— Optimist KT (@KT_3410) November 17, 2023

The Team’s Reaction and Harden’s Mindset

The team, including stars like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook, understands the need for Harden to step up. Harden, known for his respect towards his teammates, has been cautious, not wanting to overshadow the established members of the Clippers. However, his recent performances, including a lackluster showing against the Memphis Grizzlies, underline the urgency for him to assert himself more on the court.

The Road Ahead

The Clippers’ decision to trade for Harden was driven by their desire to leverage his elite offensive skills, which were on full display last season with Philadelphia. Now, the onus is on Harden to justify the Clippers’ faith in him, especially with the team’s NBA championship aspirations. Harden’s self-assuredness and ability to integrate effectively with his teammates will be crucial in the coming games, as the Clippers seek to reverse their fortunes and make a strong push in the league.

James Harden’s Politeness on Court A Challenge for Clippers’ Ambitions


James Harden’s journey with the Clippers is at a crucial juncture. His ability to shed his “politeness” and embrace his natural game will be key to the Clippers’ success. As the team navigates through this challenging phase, Harden’s transformation from a respectful teammate to a dominant on-court presence will be watched closely by fans and analysts alike. The Clippers’ championship dreams hinge on how well Harden can adjust and showcase his renowned offensive genius.

NBA: James Harden’s Politeness on Court is a Challenge for LA Clippers’ Ambitions