News for James Harden - 2020 9 Category, $200 Cap, 4G/4F/2C

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Wed Oct 1610:11Go for 2: In today's NBA, a powerful pair beats 3 of a kind
In today's high-stakes NBA, a powerful pair beats three of a kind.Teams who longed to build a Big Three are now striving for a dynamic duo, hoping two premier players are good enough to win a championship when the belief used to be that it required a trio.And with some of the combinations assembled this summer, it sure seems less is more.That's certainly the thinking in Los Angeles, where LeBron James and Anthony Davis will try to power the Lakers back to the playoffs, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George attempt to carry the Clippers further than they've ever gone before.Houston is putting James Harden and Russell Westbrook together in a backcourt of recent MVPs, and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant made the Nets the talk of not only New York but also the entire NBA on the opening day of free agency when they decided to partner up in Brooklyn."Everybody was looking for a Big Three," George said. "It didn't work for a lot of teams, so now this is a new dynamic for the new generation of this ... [More]
Wed Oct 1603:21Column: Clumsy words tarnish the LeBron brand
LeBron James had time, and plenty of it, to figure out how best to answer the questions he knew were coming. Long days in hotel rooms in China and a long flight home gave him every chance to carefully craft a response to a controversy he had no part in making but one that directly affects his bank account.Instead James chose to wing it. He blamed the messenger instead of addressing the message.And the LeBron brand may never be the same.He's still one of the greatest basketball players ever, that hasn't changed. But in the space of just a few sentences Monday night James may have abdicated his spot as someone who should be listened carefully to when it comes to social issues.No one was asking James to come out in support of protesters in Hong Kong. That was always a bridge too far for a player who makes millions in the lucrative Chinese market.But a player who has always prided himself on speaking out on issues ranging from Trayvon Martin to Colin Kaepernick should have made sure in thi... [More]
Wed Oct 1603:20Go for 2: In today's NBA, a powerful pair beats 3 of a kind
In today's high-stakes NBA, a powerful pair beats three of a kind.Teams who longed to build a Big Three are now striving for a dynamic duo, hoping two premier players are good enough to win a championship when the belief used to be that it required a trio.And with some of the combinations assembled this summer, it sure seems less is more.That's certainly the thinking in Los Angeles, where LeBron James and Anthony Davis will try to power the Lakers back to the playoffs, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George attempt to carry the Clippers further than they've ever gone before.Houston is putting James Harden and Russell Westbrook together in a backcourt of recent MVPs, and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant made the Nets the talk of not only New York but also the entire NBA on the opening day of free agency when they decided to partner up in Brooklyn."Everybody was looking for a Big Three," George said. "It didn't work for a lot of teams, so now this is a new dynamic for the new generation of this ... [More]
Sun Oct 1316:20Rockets focused on basketball after fallout from GM's tweet
HOUSTON (AP) — The Rockets are back home in Houston, looking to leave behind the distractions from their trip to Asia.Their two games in Japan were overshadowed by the aftermath of a tweet by general manager Daryl Morey in support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, angering fans and officials in China.In their first practice since returning, the Rockets insisted they wouldn't let the fallout distract them from preparing from the season."Guys can handle it," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We still got good work in. Everything's fine, but you know what happened (is) regrettable, and it happened, but as I said, our work will get done."Veteran P.J. Tucker denied that dealing with this situation has been a distraction to this team trying to contend for its first title since winning back-to-back championships in 1994-95."Not really, honestly," he said. "This time of season, everybody's getting in shape, getting ready for the season, focusing in. So with all of the things that go on i... [More]
Wed Oct 916:29Amid rift with China, will the NBA be forced to apologize?
When major corporations have done something to anger Chinese authorities in recent years, the playbook has called for one thing: an apology.Marriott issued one. So did Delta. Mercedes-Benz, too.The NBA, embroiled in a rift caused by a tweet expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, has avoided going that route — for now. But with billions at stake from things like merchandise sales and media rights, some experts are wondering if anything other than an apology from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will mend this fence, especially with the Chinese indicating that is what they want."I think that Commissioner Silver might have to do what everyone in our country doesn't want him to have to do," said Windy Dees, a sports marketing expert at the University of Miami. "He may have to say, 'I understand that your government, your political system, your culture, your ideologies are different than ours and we shouldn't push our beliefs on you.'""And that's exactly what America... [More]
Wed Oct 916:09Amid rift with China, will the NBA be forced to apologize?
When major corporations have done something to anger Chinese authorities in recent years, the playbook has called for one thing: an apology.Marriott issued one. So did Delta. Mercedes-Benz, too.The NBA, embroiled in a rift caused by a tweet expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, has avoided going that route — for now. But with billions at stake from things like merchandise sales and media rights, some experts are wondering if anything other than an apology from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will mend this fence, especially with the Chinese indicating that is what they want."I think that Commissioner Silver might have to do what everyone in our country doesn't want him to have to do," said Windy Dees, a sports marketing expert at the University of Miami. "He may have to say, 'I understand that your government, your political system, your culture, your ideologies are different than ours and we shouldn't push our beliefs on you.'""And that's exactly what America... [More]
Wed Oct 915:19Amid rift with China, will the NBA be forced to apologize?
When major corporations have done something to anger Chinese authorities in recent years, the playbook has called for one thing: an apology.Marriott issued one. So did Delta. Mercedes-Benz, too.The NBA, embroiled in a rift caused by a tweet expressing support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, has avoided going that route — for now. But with billions at stake from things like merchandise sales and media rights, some experts are wondering if anything other than an apology from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will mend this fence, especially with the Chinese indicating that is what they want."I think that Commissioner Silver might have to do what everyone in our country doesn't want him to have to do," said Windy Dees, a sports marketing expert at the University of Miami. "He may have to say, 'I understand that your government, your political system, your culture, your ideologies are different than ours and we shouldn't push our beliefs on you.'""And that's exactly what America... [More]
Wed Oct 911:19Column: NBA walks on the right side of a fine line in China
If the NBA really wanted to make a statement it should have never issued a statement, much less two.No need to complicate things when two team owners had already genuflected to the irate citizens of China. Or when James Harden took it upon himself to apologize to an entire nation.The simple path for the NBA was to do what the creators of the show "South Park" did this week after finding themselves caught between an authoritarian regime that tolerates no dissent and the pile of cash that doing business in China can bring.Admit what is really important."Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in a statement of their own. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy."The "South Park" creators, of course, make their millions by being funny. And there's a lot to chuckle about in a post that, among other things, declares that the leader of China doesn't really look like Winnie the Pooh after all.There's nothing f... [More]
Wed Oct 902:58Column: Freedom of speech has its consequences for NBA
If the NBA really wanted to make a statement it should have never issued a statement, much less two.No need to complicate things when two team owners had already genuflected to the irate citizens of China. Or when James Harden took it upon himself to apologize to an entire nation.The simple path for the NBA was to do what the creators of the show South Park did this week after finding themselves caught between an authoritarian regime that tolerates no dissent and the pile of cash that doing business in China can bring.Admit what is really important."Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts," Trey Parker and Matt Stone said in a statement of their own. "We too love money more than freedom and democracy."The South Park creators, of course, make their millions by being funny. And there's a lot to chuckle about in a post that, among other things, declares that the leader of China doesn't really look like Winnie the Pooh after all.There's nothing funny... [More]
Mon Oct 702:18Rockets' general manager's Hong Kong comments anger China
BEIJING (AP) — Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tried Sunday to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team's Chinese fans or sponsors.A short time after Morey posted that statement, the NBA said it was "regrettable" that the deleted tweet offended many in China. And all that followed several companies in China, including some of the NBA's major business partners there, lashing out over Morey's original tweet.Morey tweeted an image that read "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong." referring to the four-month-old protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. That led to Houston owner Tilman Fertitta turning to Twitter to say that Morey does not speak for the Rockets, and sparking an outcry that included the Chinese Basketball Association — whose president is Yao Ming, the former Rockets star center — saying it was suspending its relation... [More]
Tue Oct 102:53NBA referees aim to make traveling take a walk
NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden slides sideways or steps backward, and the screaming starts.Whether seated on the opposing bench or on a stool in a sports bar, somebody is insisting that Harden must have traveled between the time he finished dribbling and launched his shot from a different spot. Traveling will be an emphasis this season for officials, who are determined not to allow offensive players to gain an extra edge by taking an extra step.Scoring stars like Harden already got an advantage once hand-checking on the perimeter was no longer legal, so they can't be given another one."If we can't allow people to hand check, we can't allow them to travel because then they're almost unguardable," vice president of referee operations Mark Wunderlich said.That said, most times when Harden does his signature step-back, he doesn't travel."It is legal, except for the fact that he gets a third step in every now and then when his rhythm is just off, which shows you the highlight of how difficu... [More]
Mon Sep 3018:53Giannis, Bucks look to be last team standing at season's end
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Expectations for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have never been higher.After leading the Bucks to a league-best 60 wins in the regular season and losing to the NBA champion Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals earlier this year, Antetokounmpo is putting his league MVP trophy on the shelf and focusing solely on taking Milwaukee to the next level."We gotta focus on ourselves, which is getting better each day, competing in practice so you can carry over to the game, and just build that winning culture, the great habits that we built last year," Antetokounmpo said. "If we do that, we're going to be one of the teams that will be the last one standing. That's our goal."Antetokounmpo, who is entering his seventh season with the Bucks, had the busiest offseason of this career. He had new press obligations after winning the MVP, launched his signature shoe with Nike, and played on the Greek national team in the FIBA World Cup. Somewhere along the way, Antet... [More]
Mon Sep 3018:14Murray's return has Spurs eager to start new season
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs understand how they can be overlooked in the Western Conference given the flurry of trades and free agent signings in the offseason that reshaped so many of their rivals.That doesn't mean they have to like it."We've got a lot of dogs," Spurs guard Dejounte Murray said. "A lot of dudes with chips on their shoulders. A lot of guys are ready to go and go to war against any team in the NBA."That resolve is needed if San Antonio hopes to earn its 23rd straight postseason berth under Gregg Popovich.Already long regarded as the league's strongest conference, the West got even tougher during a whirlwind first week in July.Former Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has teamed with Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers. Anthony Davis joined LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell Westbrook is again playing alongside James Harden but this time in Houston. Utah traded for Mike Conley to pair with Donovan Mitchell.The Spurs' offseason consisted of adding De... [More]
Mon Sep 3017:53Giannis, Bucks look to be last team standing at season's end
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Expectations for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks have never been higher.After leading the Bucks to a league-best 60 wins in the regular season and losing to the NBA champion Raptors in the Eastern Conference finals earlier this year, Antetokounmpo is putting his league MVP trophy on the shelf and focusing solely on taking Milwaukee to the next level."We gotta focus on ourselves, which is getting better each day, competing in practice so you can carry over to the game, and just build that winning culture, the great habits that we built last year," Antetokounmpo said. "If we do that, we're going to be one of the teams that will be the last one standing. That's our goal."Antetokounmpo, who is entering his seventh season with the Bucks, had the busiest offseason of this career. He had new press obligations after winning the MVP, launched his signature shoe with Nike, and played on the Greek national team in the FIBA World Cup. Somewhere along the way, Antet... [More]
Fri Sep 2719:22Harden set to pair with Westbrook and chase title in Houston
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden isn't listening to anyone who is worried about how things will work in Houston with the addition of Russell Westbrook.The Beard is convinced things will be great and believes the move is not only good for the Rockets as they chase their first title since 1995, but that it also is a positive change for Westbrook after being the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder for more than a decade."He just comes to entirely different chapter in his life to go out there and just play and doesn't have to go out there and worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization," Harden said. "I'm excited for him."Questions about how these two ball-dominate guards will coexist in Houston have swirled since the Rockets shipped Chris Paul to Oklahoma City this summer in exchange for Westbrook. Only time will tell if the pairing of these two MVPs will be the push this team needs to finally win another championship.Until then everyone in the organization insists that it will... [More]
Fri Sep 2718:22Harden set to pair with Westbrook and chase title in Houston
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden isn't listening to anyone who is worried about how things will work in Houston with the addition of Russell Westbrook.The Beard is convinced things will be great and believes the move is not only good for the Rockets as they chase their first title since 1995, but that it also is a positive change for Westbrook after being the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder for more than a decade."He just comes to entirely different chapter in his life to go out there and just play and doesn't have to go out there and worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization," Harden said. "I'm excited for him."Questions about how these two ball-dominate guards will coexist in Houston have swirled since the Rockets shipped Chris Paul to Oklahoma City this summer in exchange for Westbrook. Only time will tell if the pairing of these two MVPs will be the push this team needs to finally win another championship.Until then everyone in the organization insists that it will... [More]
Sat Aug 3102:57AP Source: Rockets, Eric Gordon agree on extensions
SHANGHAI (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Houston Rockets and veteran guard Eric Gordon have agreed on a contract extension that could keep him with the team for another five seasons in all.Gordon and the Rockets agreed on a three-year extension, which begins with the 2020-21 season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side has publicly announced the agreement. There is an option for a fourth year to be added, which could push the total value of the new deal to just under $76 million.The Houston Chronicle first reported the agreement and ESPN first reported certain terms including how the final year is not yet guaranteed unless Gordon is selected as an All-Star or the Rockets win a championship. Gordon will make $14 million this season and then average about $18 million in salary over the following three years.Gordon has been remarkably consistent in his three seasons with the Rockets, averaging 1... [More]
Sat Aug 3100:57AP Source: Rockets, Eric Gordon agree on extensions
SHANGHAI (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Houston Rockets and veteran guard Eric Gordon have agreed on a contract extension that could keep him with the team for another five seasons in all.Gordon and the Rockets agreed on a three-year extension, which begins with the 2020-21 season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side has publicly announced the agreement. There is an option for a fourth year to be added, which could push the total value of the new deal to just under $76 million.The Houston Chronicle first reported the agreement and ESPN first reported certain terms including how the final year is not yet guaranteed unless Gordon is selected as an All-Star or the Rockets win a championship. Gordon will make $14 million this season and then average about $18 million in salary over the following three years.Gordon has been remarkably consistent in his three seasons with the Rockets, averaging 1... [More]
Fri Jul 2618:21Westbrook all smiles in introduction with Rockets
HOUSTON (AP) — Russell Westbrook knows he's in for a huge change in his move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.And he's ready to do whatever it takes to make the move work as he prepares to play with James Harden for the first time since 2012."To be able to win something you have to be able to sacrifice some parts of your game and we both understand that," Westbrook said. "We both understand that we have one common goal and that's to win championships. We understand what we have to do."Westbrook was introduced in Houston on Friday after being traded from the Thunder for Chris Paul and draft picks this month. General manager Daryl Morey beamed as he sat next to Westbrook when he made his first appearance as a Rocket."Obviously, we're here for one reason only, to take that next step that we've been trying to do for the last few years," Morey said.The 2017 Most Valuable Player joins the Rockets after spending his first 11 seasons with Oklahoma City, which included pl... [More]
Thu Jul 2517:00Thunder GM Sam Presti shies away from term "rebuilding"
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The words rebuilding and tanking don't sit well with Thunder general manager Sam Presti.He prefers the terms repositioning and replenishing.No matter what he calls it, he has quite a task in front of him after trading Oklahoma City's two best players __ All-Stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook __ and a rising star in Jerami Grant.It's the start of a new era, a transformation that began abruptly when George made a trade request, leading Westbrook to seek another destination, too. George joined Kawhi Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers, while Westbrook is now partnered with former Thunder teammate James Harden in Houston.Presti publicly thanked Westbrook and George on Thursday, then said he is looking forward to the challenges ahead. Oklahoma City has stocked up on future first-round draft picks, and Presti believes the deals netted some good players in Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander."I think our focus right now is on the team that we... [More]
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