James Harden is the leader of Team USA, team Chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a report Wednesday from Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
The comments come days after the squad arrived in Spain to begin the FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament over the next several weeks. Harden leads a mostly inexperienced team when it comes to playing international basketball, and his emergence as a leader is highlighted following the decision of Kevin Durant to withdraw from the team and the season-ending injury that Paul George suffered earlier in the summer during a Team USA basketball scrimmage.
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Colangelo, a member of the basketball Hall of Fame, said Harden is "the one" and spoke in the report to his natural instincts as a leader:
"Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader. "Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.”
- Marc Weinreich