Thunder's James Harden still with second team

by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 5, 2012
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photo - James Harden laughs at a press conference during media day for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team at the Thunder Events Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
James Harden laughs at a press conference during media day for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team at the Thunder Events Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

It comes as no surprise, but after four days of training camp James Harden continues to practice with the second team despite starter Thabo Sefolosha nursing a leg injury.

Harden, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is expected to remain in his role this season once the Thunder returns to full strength. Harden, however, took his assignment in stride when told he just can't seem to crack the first unit.

“Can't,” Harden said, laughing. “Can't do it. Them my guys. Me and Nick Collison, that's my guy.”

Harden then said players have just filled in for starters Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins (wrist) and the second unit has remained largely intact.

A “CHIPPY” PRACTICE

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Friday's practice was the most intense of the week.

“There's no question that today was probably our most chippy — if that's even the way to say it,” Brooks said. “But we scrimmaged a lot. Guys really got after it. Today was really, out of the four (practice) we've had, mainly all scrimmaging.”

Asked which players were the biggest “chips,” Brooks said Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

“Kevin and Russell, they showed great leadership,” Brooks said. “They wanted to win and they didn't win early on. But I thought they did a good job of coming back and competing and fighting through it.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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