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Berry Tramel: Is Thunder's James Harden the NBA's next crafty lefty?

Berry Tramel Published: July 23, 2009
Thunder general manager Sam Presti talked about his newest prize, James Harden, a couple of weeks ago. Ended up comparing Harden’s attitude and work ethic to a current Thunder keeper.

"There’s some Jeff Green to his approach to the game,” Presti said.

That’s high praise within the Thunder compound. But Harden went elsewhere when asked to compare his game to another.

"Manu Ginobili,” Harden said like it was no big deal.

Manu Ginobili? The Spurs’ whirling dervish who has helped deliver not just three NBA titles to San Antonio but a gold medal to Argentina?

Sign me up for that.

"Not the most athletic guy, not the quickest guy,” Harden said. "But a crafty left-hander.”

Crafty left-hander makes me think of Jamie Moyer, but it fits Ginobili, too. A guy who looks like he ought to be smoking a Marlboro outside a Paris cafe but instead consistently befuddles NBA defenses.

I like left-handers in hoops. They’re hard to guard for the same reason they’re hard to hit in baseball. You don’t see them often enough.

Presti wouldn’t bite on the Ginobili likeness: "I think James Harden is going to create his own identity in the league.”

You never know, of course.


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