Harden on Anthony’s transition to Rockets: ‘easy’

James Harden is the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player. (Reuters pic)

HOUSTON: James Harden anticipates that new teammate Carmelo Anthony will have no trouble fitting in with the Houston Rockets.

Anthony signed a one-year, US$2.4 million (RM9.9 million) deal with Houston on August 13, two weeks after he was waived by Atlanta. The Hawks acquired the 10-time All-Star days earlier in a three-team trade, then promptly waived him.

Last season, Anthony was one of three stars playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with Russell Westbrook and Paul George, but the trio never jelled. Harden, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, believes it will be different when Anthony joins him and Chris Paul in Houston.

“We all see how it worked out (with Paul),” Harden said an interview posted Thursday on The Players’ Tribune. “When you got two high-IQ guys who are unselfish and know the game of basketball, it’s easy.”

“Then, this year, coming off an MVP season, now you got to add Carmelo Anthony; it’s going to be easy. The transition is easy. When you got that many talented, high-IQ guys around who love to communicate and love to figure things out, the job is easy.”

Harden added, “The job gets hard when you don’t communicate. That’s what it’s about. That’s where it’s misconstrued. You got guys that are, ‘Oh, how are they going to work?’ As long as we’re on the court and we communicate, things will be a breeze.”

Anthony, 34, averaged a career-low 16.2 points last season for the Thunder. His playing time and production dropped further in the postseason, when he averaged 11.8 points.

For his career, which includes lengthy stints with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks, Anthony has averages of 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and three assists in 1,054 games, all starts.