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#pounditFriday, March 5, 2021

Shaq blasts James Harden: ‘He has no leadership skills’

James Harden

Shaq pulled no punches when discussing James Harden at halftime of Game 2 between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors on Monday.

The Rockets were down to the Warriors 66-58 at the half, which wasn’t too bad of a margin, but Shaq blasted Harden for his poor overall effort in the game.

“The problem with James Harden is he has no leadership skills,” Shaq said bluntly on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” “I know for a fact as the main player, when you come to play, others will follow. If you’re the leader of a team, you gotta do what you’re supposed to do. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, then others will not do anything … He doesn’t lead by example. There’s two types of leaders. The vocal leader get in people’s face like Draymond Green, and those who lead by example.”

O’Neal then showed two plays where Harden showed questionable effort on defense:

He wasn’t the only TNT member who had issues with the Rockets.

Charles Barkley called them “disjointed,” while Kenny Smith said Houston still didn’t even know their best lineup.

This isn’t the first time Harden’s defense has been scrutinized (just watch this video). But Shaq certainly took it a step further by also criticizing Harden’s leadership.

Houston is far too talented to be just a .500 team (they were 41-41 during the regular season). Their star players — Harden and Dwight Howard — should be held responsible for that.

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