James Harden in a Q&A with ESPN.com: “My confidence grows every year. From when I was a little kid to being the sixth man at OKC. Having that confidence, having that swag coming off the bench. And now my role with the Rockets to being on the USA team. You know, my confidence just keeps getting better. But I’ve always been confident because, as I said, of my work ethic. You put so much work in the gym; you know you’ve put those reps in with those moves. If you don’t do that, you wouldn’t have the confidence to go out there and do it at this high level.”
Harden to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “In Oklahoma City, I had a little leadership role, but I was the sixth man,” he said. “I didn’t have the majority of the say-so. Now, it’s prepared me in my game, being a leader, being able to talk to my coaches and better myself and coming out here and having confidence as a leader to kind of talk and communicate.”
Darnell Mayberry in a chat on Kendrick Perkins: “I can’t see the Thunder trading him. He’s too useful defensively in the postseason. It’s not worth trading him, in my opinion, unless of course something too good to pass up comes along.”
Per Chris Sheridan: “For the next three years, because of the contract language, you will not see Durant endorsing Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, or any of the other mass market behemoths that typically recruit athletes to endorse their products. Basketball industry executives who have negotiated endorsement deals for other athletes said the language was unusually restrictive.”
Top 10 shooting guard projections. Nope, no Thunderer on there.
Ben Golliver of SI.com on Harden: “Those words set up Harden nicely to be the egotistical black hat by comparison, a shoot-first, flop-happy scorer prematurely gunning for a coveted title that he hasn’t earned. Such a painting wouldn’t be completely fair. Harden must improve his defense, shot selection, leadership and, as he acknowledged, he must stockpile some postseason successes before he can seriously challenge James and Durant. “