James Harden mentioned as one of the best 6th Men from Thunder days


Before Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden became one of the best scorers the game has ever seen and developed into an MVP talent, he was a sixth man with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden, the third pick in the 2009 NBA draft, joined a Thunder team that was on the rise and led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Therefore, he was not a top option.

Harden came off the bench for Oklahoma City, and he averaged 12.7 points and 3.4 rebounds while winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012. He was then traded to the Houston Rockets, with whom his career really took off.

Bleacher Report put together some of the best sixth men in the league since 2000, and The Beard received honorable mention status:

Before Harden found his calling as a net-shredding MVP, he spent his first three seasons making his presence felt off the Oklahoma City Thunder’s bench. The Sooner State’s spark plug was spectacular by his third NBA go-round, averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists while posting a pristine 49.1/39.0/84.6 shooting slash.

While that effort earned him Sixth Man of the Year honors, it also ended his run as a super-sub. The Houston Rockets snatched him up that offseason and quickly handed over the keys to the franchise. It was, obviously, a brilliant move for Space City, but it hurts him in an exercise like this since he loses the longevity argument.

As for Harden now, the future Hall of Famer looks to help the Sixers reach the mountain top and to add the one thing missing from his resume: an NBA championship.

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire

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