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Fear the beard + mohawk: a perspective on James Harden

When people think of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the first two names that usually come to mind are Kevin Durant and Kyle Lee Wa-- err, I mean Russell Westbrook. It’s totally understandable, as they are the faces of the team.

However, there’s another man on that team who is easily my favorite player and has been ever since he put on a Thunder uniform. The man looks about as athletic as a jar of applesauce, but when he gets on the court, he is a serious problem. That man is none other than James Harden.

The story of Harden on ETSF is like others on here, in the sense that an opinion of a player is divided between Ed and myself. When OKC drafted him third overall last year, I preached to Ed how great of a pick it was. Shoot, the man was instant offense, a decent facilitator, and with the make-up of their team, he could be a legitimate sixth man of the year candidate for the Thunder.

Ed wasn’t trying to hear it though, and he spent Harden's entire rookie season complaining about how they should have drafted Steph Curry or Tyreke Evans instead. Never mind that it didn’t make basketball sense for them to draft those guys, the homie wasn’t trying to hear it…

…but what a difference a year makes.

It seems like once Jeff Green was traded, more responsibility was heaped on the beard and mohawk of James Harden. The man comes in the game and seamlessly moves between the point and the two, and regardless of what they need from him, he comes through.

The postseason is another showcase that’s given Harden an opportunity to show not only the die-hard fans what he can do, but causal fans as well, which may have not had the motivation to pay attention to OKC beyond Durant and Westbrook.

Now that the man has a defined role and consistent minutes, it’ll be interesting to see how much his contributions continue to aid the Thunder on their quest to shock the world and reach the NBA Finals, and now that he is firmly supported and certified by both heads of ETSF, he’ll be rooted for every step of the way.

Be easy.
-K. Masenda
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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