James Harden Working with Elite NBA Performance Specialist
It may seem all doom and gloom in regards to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Yet another year where the team got eliminated in the second round. It feels like the team needs another significant makeover. However, this offseason is different because there appears to be no margin for error.
The most extensive debate will be whether or not the Sixers should commit to James Harden long-term and the specifics behind his potential extension. Harden has a lot to prove to both the fans and the 76ers alike. This offseason is crucial for Harden’s future, not just for the Sixers but the NBA altogether. If he doesn’t maximize it, he could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
James Harden seems to be taking the necessary steps to get his body right. He has been working out with Paul J. Fabritz of PJF Performance. Fabritz is a very well-known NBA performance specialist. It’s not your typical skills trainer either. Fabritz’s program is all about athleticism and durability, which are two things that have seemed to go away for Harden over the last year.
Harden has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, so the idea is that this offseason would finally be his time to rehab it. Instead, he is going above and beyond to treat his body. Harden spent time with Fabritz back in 2016, when he was in the best physical shape of his career.
James Harden Strength and Conditioning Training – PJF Performance (2016)
It’s worth noting that the following seasons after Harden worked with PJF, he played the best basketball of his career. Not only that, but he played at least 70 games a season for the next three seasons. Most notably, 81 games in 2017. This period of Harden’s career was some of the most dominant offensive basketball you will ever see from a player.
I’m not saying you will see 36 PPG Harden due to this, but I think we see a version closer to what we saw in Brooklyn, where he was in the MVP race. Harden was carrying the offensive load in terms of facilitating and still scoring at an efficient rate. This is what the Sixers are hoping they can get from him in 2022-23. It certainly looks like he is taking the required steps to get back to that player.