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Why James Harden Deteriorated So Quickly

Colin Cowherd: “Last night the Sixers really needed a gem from James Harden and they got 13 points and lousy defense. This is now what he is and we’ve got to be okay with that. When it goes downhill, it goes downhill fast as a pro athlete. In the Bubble season he averaged 30 a year and four years ago he was an MVP, but in the last 11 playoff games he’s been held under 25 points, and this is who he is. He is no longer a one, and frankly, very quickly he is now no longer a two. He could be a three on a championship team. He closed too many nightclubs, he didn’t take care of his body, and he’s only 32. That is not coincidentally the age of Cam Newton when he fell off a cliff, and Russell Westbrook’s age when he fell off a cliff. If you don’t take care of your game and you don’t take care of your body it ends quickly. He is now 32/33 years old. That’s ten years of either neglect or just not staying current. Westbrook didn’t, struggled to hit the three, Cam’s efficiency now is a huge liability, and James Harden just didn’t stay in shape. Here’s the good news: he can still be impactful, he can still be a part of a great team, he can facilitate better now, and here’s got some self-awareness -- he knows what he is. He doesn’t have a single game as a 76er with over 20 shots. Westbrook is living in a tunnel, Carmelo for a while was living in a tunnel, Harden is like ‘I’m not a 20-shot guy, I can’t get those shots.’ He can still be impactful, he can still be a part of a championship team eventually, but they needed him last night and he’s just not there. This is what James Harden is. The Sixers still won the trade but it’s not a slam dunk because Harden is a limited player. If you combine Joel Embiid’s injuries with Harden’s pretty fast erosion -- he struggles now to get by people like he once did -- this is not a championship team. If you don’t refine your game, don’t sandpaper it, and don’t take care of yourself, the numbers like 32 and 33 years old is when you fall off the cliff. Harden can still hit jumpers but he can’t get by guys, and he knows he can’t get the shots.” (Full Video Above)

Listen to Colin Cowherd explain why he thinks James Harden is not only far from a number one scorer in the NBA anymore, but is not even good enough to warrant no. 2 status either, as Colin says the former MVP has eroded seemingly overnight into a no. 3 option.

Check out the video above as Colin details why he thinks Harden deteriorated so quickly despite having led the NBA in scoring during the 2019/2020 season.

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