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"James Harden was doing stuff like this regularly" - C.J. McCollum reminds the world of Houston Rockets James

C.J McCollum is here to remind us that James Harden in Houston used to be that guy.
James Harden

James Harden

It wasn't all that long ago that James Harden was putting together unprecedented performances while suiting up for the Houston Rockets, and recently C.J. McCollum made sure the NBA world remembered.

A golden period in the league

The NBA is currently experiencing a streak of individual performances that are frankly beyond belief, including a 71-point outburst from Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, and a 60-point, 21-rebound triple-double from Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic that have headlined an array of 40 and 50-point games.

Many around the association are calling it the greatest single stretch in league history from a player performance standpoint, but New Orleans Pelicans scorer McCollum recalls the now Philadelphia 76ers point guard doing the same during his best days in Houston.

At that time, McCollum called Portland home with the Trail Blazers and saw the greatness of "The Beard" first-hand as the Rockets and Blazers jostled for position atop the Western Conference.

Rockets Harden was different

Recently on his podcast, although we are witnessing an incredible stretch of individual performances, McCollum felt obliged to remind us all of Harden's golden run.

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"James Harden was doing stuff like this regularly. He'd have a week where he'd go 55, 54, 50 with triple-doubles," McCollum said.

The Pelicans veteran isn't wrong, considering Harden was largely unstoppable in Houston en route to a league MVP trophy in 2018.

During that stretch, in addition to the MVP award, the 33-year-old was the assist leader in 2017 and was an All-Star, All-NBA First Team, and scoring champion in three consecutive seasons between 2018 to 2020.

Harden's most memorable moments included 61 points against the New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs, 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks, and the aforementioned historic 60-point triple-double against the Orlando Magic in January 2018.

While it didn't translate to playoff success, Harden and the Rockets did knock on the door of the NBA Finals in 2018, taking the juggernaut Golden State Warriors with Kevin Durant to 7 games in the Western Conference Finals.

The original trend setter

Harden's time in Houston will always be a memorable one, and while he's had to tinker his game slightly as he's aged to be more of a floor general, he cemented himself as one of the great scorers of all time in his prime.

When it's all said and done, Harden will be remembered as an offensive pioneer and the original trendsetter for transcendent individual performances. 

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