At one point during Friday night’s game, those on the bench for the Rockets were in complete shock. During a layup, point guard James Harden landed on his right foot awkwardly and laid on the court grasping his ankle in pain.
Everyone looked in fear as Harden began to stretch his ankle. Then he began to walk to the bench and hopped a bit before sitting down.
For the last part of the first quarter, Coach Mike D’Antoni had Harden sit out as Medical personnel was examining him.
Halfway into the second quarter, Harden got back on the court and continued to play effortlessly, scoring 19 points and 13 assists. The Rockets beat the Bulls 115-94.
James falling on his ankle was serious business. Whenever a star player gets hurt, especially one whose been playing as well as Harden, stomachs turn, and fans send heartfelt prayers.
But Harden is not one to go down without a fight. He would never leave his team down and out.
D’Antoni told reporters that Harden is a very strong player and typically bounces back. He said though everyone was terrified at first, he’s doing well and feeling better.
What else can you expect from a player like Harden?
Though time after time, he has shown that he can defeat the odds, Harden is nowhere near indestructible. Just like every other player, he has to play safe.
Due to his durability, Harden is a great asset to the NBA. Not only is he an impressive player for the Rockets, but he is awesome all the time. Because the guy never sleeps, on the court, that is.
Players such as teammate Kawhi Leonard or Cav’s Lebron James make sure to schedule nights off. However, Harden, who is only 27, always plays.
According to the man himself, he never takes the evenings off because he’s paid to play. Harden says he loves the game and knows he won’t be playing forever, so he makes sure to play as much as he can, while he can.
So far, out of 66 games, James has played in every one, playing an average of 37 minutes a game. Since the Rockets scores are typically high, there’s no reason for him to play more.
With the playoffs so close, Harden needs to be as prepared as possible to help the Rockets get a top bracket in the Western Conference.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Rockets will be playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday night, and Harden will have to go toe to toe with the champ himself, King James.
And just like every night, you can bet your bottom dollar that Harden will be ready to play, and ready to win.