James Harden: All-Star, NBA recruiter

James Harden: All-Star, NBA recruiter
February 16, 2013, 2:00 pm
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James Harden’s status for Sunday’s All-Star Game is still up in the air. He says he’s day-to-day.

But that doesn’t mean Harden isn’t enjoying his weekend.

In fact, since Harden is the only All-Star from the Rockets and since he already knows many of the NBA’s best from playing in the Olympics, he’s become the unofficial host of this year’s All-Star Weekend.

Host … or recruiter.

“Yeah. As a host, you try to recruit,” Harden said on Saturday morning. “You try to talk to people.”

Harden came to Houston from Oklahoma City in a trade before this season began. The Rockets had Jeremy Lin before Harden came but now Harden is the All-Star on the team. He’s the new face of the franchise.

And he’s hoping he’s not the last big name to join them in Houston. After all, the Rockets look like a playoff team and might be an appealing destination for big-name free agents – like perhaps Dwight Howard.

“Yeah, like it said, we’re in the playoffs right now,” Harden said. “Adding another All-Star or two could boost it even higher. It’s a beautiful city. Guys like what we’re doing over here and like I said, it’s the perfect situation.”

So will all of Harden’s recruiting efforts pay off?

“Yeah,” he said smiling through his bushy beard. “We’ll see if it works.”