Harden comfortable in leadership role

Harden comfortable in leadership role
October 23, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Harden is ready to lead the Rockets

James Harden immediately became the face of the franchise and the leader of the Houston Rockets the moment he was traded to Houston just before the regular season began a year ago. He’s still the face of the franchise and leader of the team, but this season, he’s in a much more comfortable position.

He’s not the newcomer, but rather in charge of making sure those that are new, fit right in and have some guidance. He agreed that being with this team through the entire offseason has been important.

“(It helps) a lot. “I’ve always been a leader, whether it high school, college or the NBA,” Harden said after Wednesday’s practice.

“I’ve always been a leader by example, my work ethic and more vocal as well. It comes naturally,” he added. “ Now being in this role, I’ve got a lot more voice and my teammates follow. I’ve got to make sure I’m on my game all the time.”

Just this week, Harden was recognized as the best shooting guard in the NBA by the league’s general managers.

“To be honest, it’s good that they feel that way, but I have a lot of work to do,” Harden said. “It’s going to be a big year for us, we’re expecting big things from our team. I have a lot of individual work to do as far as leadership and producing.”

Head coach Kevin McHale has taken notice of Harden’s actions as the leader of this young Rockets team.

“He’s been very vocal in camp,” McHale said. "He really had some tremendous practices where he’s been the highest energy guy on the floor. That’s what you want. He’s been doing a great job.”