February 25, 2024


James Harden’s first few games with the Los Angeles Clippers went badly. 

Harden shot 47.1% from the field and averaged 15 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game over his first five games, but the Clippers lost them all. 

It wasn’t how the Clippers envisioned a trade for Harden going after he joined NBA greats Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook as a teammate. 

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James Harden talks to Tyronn Lue

Clippers coach Tyrone Lue, right, talks with guard James Harden during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles Dec. 11, 2023.  (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Chandler Parsons, a former NBA center and former teammate of Harden’s, knew it was going to take some time for this group to mesh. 

“It was a lose-lose situation for him when he got there,” Parsons, co-host of FanDuel TV’s “Run It Back,” told Fox News Digital recently. “They were playing well. Russ was in the starting lineup, he was back to his normal self. And then they trade and go and get James Harden. So, if they win, they’re supposed to win. They have four Hall of Famers, they have all these new expectations, they’re going to his new arena. So it’s Hollywood. 

“If they lose, we look back to how everything was going before he got there, and they went on this skid. I still think it’s early. I think they figure it out.”

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When Harden joined the Clippers, they were 3-2 and playing well. When Harden’s presence led to a losing streak, fans started pointing to him as the reason why. 

The Clippers turned it around with three straight wins after their five-game losing streak. And the Clippers have won four straight games with Harden averaging 18.3 points, 8.8 assists and five rebounds.

Russell Westbrook drives to hoop

LA Clippers guard Russell Westbrook drives to the hoop for a layup past Portland Trail Blazers guard Sharron Sharpe in the second half at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles Dec. 11, 2023.  (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings, the Clippers look like the team everyone expected them to be. 

“They have the depth, they have the star power,” Parsons said. “It’s a luxury having that type of talent on your team where any given night can be a different guy. … Obviously, I think they’re going to make the playoffs. I don’t see them losing the first round of the playoffs. 

“It’s a process. When you have a guy like James who controls the ball, who needs the ball, who doesn’t really know how to play another way, it’s gonna take time. Those four guys are first-ballot Hall of Famers, and I do think they’ll figure it out.”

Parsons has enjoyed watching the Clippers’ rise and the rest of the NBA in his analyst role on “Run It Back.” He’s also been joined by former Clipper and three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, who he says has been a great addition to the panel with Michelle Beadle and Shams Charania. 

James Harden and Paul George talk on court

James Harden (1) and Paul George (13) of the Los Angeles Clippers talk during a game against the Sacramento Kings Nov. 29, 2023, at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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“Lou Will, he’s awesome, bro. We joke around. He calls me his ‘media vet,’” Parsons said. “He hadn’t really done stuff like this before, but he’s getting so much better so quick. He’s got such a great following. Real hoopers, they love Lou Will, so they want to hear his take on things. 

“You can just see him each week, each episode how he’s getting more comfortable, more loose with it. He’s just an awesome dude, man. So it’s really cool to work with him.”



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