James Harden has long been one of the NBA’s most enduring players, but he could be pushed to his limits this season.
After the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, Harden admitted he felt gassed.
“Tired,” Harden said, by Nets writer Chris Milholen. “Exhausted. It’s been crazy just because of COVID.
Harden added that the Nets, coming off a road game against the Chicago Bulls the night before, landed around 5 a.m. the morning of the game against the Thunder. Thus, Harden could not go to bed until 7 a.m.
It was a brutal time for the Nets, who played four games in five days, going from Brooklyn to Portland to Chicago and back to Brooklyn. Their fatigue was evident when they were eliminated by Oklahoma City 130-109. Harden shot just 7 for 22 from the field.
This season has also been particularly trying for Harden, who is second on the Nets with 36 games played and 36.8 minutes per game. He ran out of time last month in health and safety protocols but barely took games to rest. With Kyrie Irving missing most of the season and still ineligible for home games, Harden and Kevin Durant have been saddled with huge responsibilities for Brooklyn. For his part though, Durant played down the workload issues (despite missing the Thunder game to rest).