Morning Briefing: James Harden needs some rest

James Harden

Kobe Bryant understands why James Harden has been dominating games recently, but he doesn’t think it’s the type of play that will lead a team to the title (Yes, Kobe Bryant said that).

“Well, I think he has to do what he has to do in order for his team to win,” Bryant told ESPN. “And there’s certain levels to it. So, there’s the style of play in which he’s using, which I’m not a fan of in terms of winning championships. I don’t think that style’s ever going to win championships.”

Harden has scored 30 points in 27 straight games heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

And Harden agrees.


“For right now, he’s probably right,” Harden said of Bryant’s comments. “This way, that we’re playing, won’t happen, won’t get us to where we want to go. But we haven’t had a full roster yet, so I’m excited for that to come.”

Bryant never had a usage rate of more than 32.3% in any of the Lakers’ title season. Usage rate is the percentage of a team’s plays that end with that player either shooting the ball, turning the ball over or getting to the free-throw line. Bryant had six seasons with a usage rate higher than 32.3% and walked away without a ring each time.

Harden’s usage rate is 40.2%, which would put him second in history behind Russell Westbrook’s 2016-17 MVP season, when he had a 41.7% rate. No team with a player in the top eight all time has advanced past the first round of the playoffs.

He’s OK


Some Rams fans were concerned about offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, who after the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl said, “At the end of the day, you’re all going to die.”

They grew even more concerned when the one thing that definitely died was his Twitter account, which Whitworth deleted on Tuesday.

Whitworth’s wife, Melissa, went on her own Twitter account to explain why:

“Hey everybody who is worried about Andrew deactivating his account it is strictly to step away for a bit and spend some quality time w family away from the noise. The Whitworths are all good thanks for the support #ramily #offseasonishere


Got his goat

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went on “Good Morning America” this week and said he hoped people would stop doing one thing: Calling him the greatest NFL player of all time.

“I don’t even like it. It makes me cringe,” Brady said. “I guess I take compliments worse than I … I wish you would say, ‘You’re trash, you’re too old, you’re too slow, you can’t get it done no more,’” And I’ll say, ‘Thank you very much, I’ll prove you wrong.’”

Judge of talent


Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Bryce Harper signs with the Yankees, even moving from right field.

“He’s got more speed than me, man,” Judge told TMZ Sports. “Wherever he wants to play, we’ll make it work.

“Any time you can add an MVP to a team, it’s going to make them better.”

Get out your checkbook


Remember from yesterday the item about a site auctioning off the replica NBA ring that Kobe gave his mom after the 2000 season? The bid for that is still at $20,000. But Kobe’s dad is selling the ring he got from his son too. The bid on that is up to $35,000.

And finally

Wednesday was the birthday of Babe Ruth. As Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino said a couple of weeks ago, Ruth wouldn’t even hit .200 if he were playing today. Of course, he would be 124 years old.

By the way, Tuesday was the 85th birthday of Henry Aaron.