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James Harden's trade proves player empowerment is still very much alive in the NBA

Nov 1, 2023

Player empowerment was allegedly dead, with the pendulum swinging all the way back to teams — the way sports was “intended” to function.

The Damian Lillard saga was only a reprieve, perhaps not even a fair one considering him being the good soldier while James Harden heads to his fourth team in 22 months, the Los Angeles Clippers acquiring him for a package of players and draft capital.

It could feel a bit smarmy considering Harden’s reputation, zooming out to see a Hall of Fame player executing exit strategies left and right, getting his money and his desired destination. Harden felt betrayed by management, or more specifically Daryl Morey, dropping his name in overseas promos that felt part-wrestler, part-rapper.

It probably didn’t feel good for the traditionalists who’ve long believed NBA players have lost their collective minds and needed to be taught a lesson by the forces above. And in some cases, it began to feel messy.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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