In sports, there are chances to win and there are legitimate chances to win.
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden on Friday stressed the importance he places on winning the NBA Finals, following his blockbuster trade from the Houston Rockets. Harden, the 2017-18 NBA MVP, joins forces with incumbent superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on what many are predicting will be the NBA’s next super-team. However, Harden insists his arrival doesn’t make a championship a foregone conclusion.
“It’s not a guarantee that me coming to Brooklyn is guaranteeing a title,” Harden said in his introductory press conference. “But I think for me, giving myself a chance is very, very important. (When I was) Younger, giving myself a chance (to win) but wanting to get paid and wanting to take care of my family was very, very important to me. Now I’m in a stage in my career, (what’s important is) giving myself a chance to do something that I haven’t accomplished yet in this league. That’s very important to me now, and that’s the situation that I’m in here in Brooklyn.
“I’m excited for the new opportunity. Obviously, we know it’s not going to be easy at all. With this roster and this coaching staff and this organization, I think we have a legit chance.”
Harden probably is wise not to go overboard so early in his Nets career. He can leave that up to NBA observers, such as oddsmakers who immediately boosted Brooklyn’s odds of winning the NBA Finals in the aftermath of the trade.
However, before anyone crowns the Nets, they must figure out how to make it work with Harden, Irving, Durant and Co.