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Oklahoma City Thunder Notebook: James Harden suffers minor setback

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer Published: September 30, 2009
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James Harden had a rude welcome to the NBA on the opening day of his first training camp Tuesday. The No. 3 overall pick was accidentally poked in the eye by a teammate and had to leave practice near the conclusion of the session to get it treated as a precaution.

The incident was labeled minor by a team spokesman, and Harden was scheduled to play in the night session that wrapped up the first two-a-day of camp. Harden was leaving the practice court at the same time media members were allowed into the gym and wasn’t available for comment.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the rookie performed well in his first real NBA practice before the setback.

"James really buys into wanting to get better,” Brooks said. "He does a lot of good things, and if he continues to work on the defensive end and continues to be a playmaker, he’s going to help us get better.”

Defense dominates first day
Brooks used the majority of the opening day of training camp to practice what he’s preached since taking over last season — defense.

"We focused on the defensive end and containing the ball and doing a good job of having weak side help,” Brooks said.