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James Harden with more bad defense in USA’s win over Turkey (VIDEO)

Sep 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

James Harden is unquestionably one of the game’s elite offensive players, but his disinterest on the defensive end of the floor has earned him a bit of a reputation there, and he showed no signs of doing anything to change it during USA’s win over Turkey in FIBA World Cup play on Sunday.

This is going to keep getting pointed out, because Harden isn’t incapable of defending. But the more we see him display this level of apathy, the more unconscionable his decision to do so actually seems.

[via Coach Nick of BBallBreakdown]

  1. tibbs7 - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    It’s not like it was blowout time yet either. Looks like that 3 tied the game. It is tough to be a Harden supporter when you see true apathy.

    Been a Bulls fan my entire life. Back in the early 80s you could go to a game and the crowd at the stadium was 5,000. Walking yourself down to the court was easy and they did not discourage it. Those teams sucked but they never stopped putting out 100% effort.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      great point about the score at the time…

  2. zoomy123 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    I can’t stand James Harden. He knows that his team needs him to be a good defender, he knows he can play defense, but he simply refuses to do it. He is actually choosing to do something that he knows will hurt his team. How can anybody on the Rockets respect him? Howard is a clown and Harden is a fraud.

    • bougin89 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      He’s a terrific 2-3 zone defender. His team is just never playing 2-3 zone when he is…

  3. spthegr8 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    He looks at defense the same way Donald Sterling looks @ people of ethnicity. He just doesn’t want to even give it a chance!!

    • duhwighthoward - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      Donald Sterling pays to bone black chicks all day. What are you talking about?

      • censoredpost - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        That’s something they both have in common,,, a beard. At least that’s the way V tells it.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        @censoredpost That was amazing. You should be a comedy writer. A beard… HAHAHAH!

  4. spthegr8 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    That was a terrible close out by Kyrie also. IJS!!!

  5. sportsfan18 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    And folks criticize me when I say that Houston isn’t a real contender this coming season.

    They say Harden is still getting better…

    He’s getting better at half of the game only…

    Dwight is still very good, but his best years are behind me, especially defensively.

    Harden IS talented, but if he’s their rock… they’re not a contender…

    THIS season in the west, the real contenders are the Spurs, the Thunder and the Clippers with the Warriors and the Trailblazers pushing them.

    Houston will have to fight and have things go well to finish above the Warriors or Blazers.

    Houston looks to be a 6th seed in the West this coming season.

  6. duhwighthoward - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM


    • mcmystery76 - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      People don’t understand facetiousness on the internet man

      • can139 - Sep 1, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        I think the problem is that he left his caps lock on.

  7. campcouch - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    He had a moment and thought Dwight Howard was rotating to the rim.

  8. basketballbro - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    And they say Carmelo Anthony is bad on defense…

  9. charlescub80 - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Wow!! Just wow!!

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      That’s nothing new, he does it all season long in the NBA.

  10. Black Dog - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    He’s James Haren now. Lost the right to keep the “d” in his name.

  11. ddarqwon - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I guess we see what we seek.
    Harden also had several key defensive plays that game but don’t expect an article about that anytime soon.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 1, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then too…

      guess the offensive player must have run right into James when he was standing around… oops, playing D I mean…

    • mcmystery76 - Sep 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Consistency and effort are the hallmarks of a good defensive player. Harden gambles for steals to add to his stat line that’s about it.

  12. nicofthenorthstar - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Between this crap and the attitude he has towards his teammates, harden is setting himself apart as one of the leagues elite d-bags. Which is quite an accomplishment.
    The thing about defense is that it requires hard work and a team first attitude (not a lot of strong D plays making it into the NBA highlight reels).
    In conclusion, Wolfboy is a lazy bum.

  13. asimonetti88 - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    If the Rockets are gonna build a Big 3 they’ll need to find 3 stars…

    • iammr713 - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      No one wants to play with Harden & Howard.

  14. ProBasketballPundit - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I think there’s more to Harden’s bad D than we realize. It’s like he gets hypnotized by the ball and just spaces out. Because he acts like he’s going to help on the ball but doesn’t… then his guy goes straight to the corner or back door and he has no clue what’s going on until the ball moves again.

    Somebody’s gotta do a psychological profile and see if he needs some adderall or something to stay in the game.

    • bougin89 - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      The above is just a lack of fundamentals by Harden. “Ball-you-man” is taught at a very young age.

  15. 88heatnation - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Literally left him wide open didn’t even bother, simple defensive play to slide to the corner and not loose your guy this is elementary, if that was my Coach he would have sat me down.

    • bougin89 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Exactly. Ball-you-man. I think I was taught that in 3rd grade.

  16. lhollis74 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    Hilarious! Harden has done this at an increasing rate since he came into the league. As his stature in the league has increased so has his propensity to fall asleep on defense. But understand there is a method to his madness, when you are not particularly tall, athletic or speedy, it takes more energy to score, energy he can’t afford to expend playing defense. And that my friends, coupled with the inability of Howard to score in the manner a true superstar does, is what I believe will be the root cause of the eventual turmoil in Houston.

  17. westcoastredbird - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Dude hasn’t been the same since he flopped on the elbow from Metta World Peace.

  18. peralez2383 - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    Laziest hooligan alive!

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