Former NBA All-Star RIPS James Harden


"If I’m the owner of the Sixers, I cannot commit to giving him a max deal." Speaking on ESPN about James Harden's future with the Philadelphia 76ers, former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire has some shade for the former All-Star.

"I just don’t see the dedication that I would need to see from my top 75 player. You have there for your teammates when they need you.”

A former 6-time All-Star himself, Stoudemire was an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season, so he had a front row seat for that "lack of dedication" from Harden that he's referring to. Harden, of course, was dealt to the Sixers at the trade deadline in the blockbuster Ben Simmons deal, which, quite frankly, hasn't really worked out for either team yet in any big way.

After a Miami Heat blowout win in Game 5, the Sixers are in a win-or-go-home situation now, down 3-2 in their Eastern Conference semi-final. Harden had one big game in the series, but otherwise has not been anywhere close to his All-Star self throughout these playoffs, and the regular season preceding it. He's currently averaging 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists in the series with Miami.

Can Harden return to being an impact player? "I don't think he's capable of being that type of player this season," said Stoudemire. "Not being in top shape... not taking your body seriously, not really focusing in on that... to prepare for the season.

"You have to be able to have a certain level of determination and focus on being the best player you can possibly be and also be there for your teammates when they need you the most. … If he’s not capable of doing that as a max player, I’m not going to be willing to now give you a max contract if you’re not showing me that you can handle the situation.”

Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports